A BRIDGE OF RECONCILIATION
Psalms 133:1-3 Behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like precious oil upon the head running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing-Life forevermore.
I was reading an interesting short story about two brothers James and John, who each had a farm side by side with each other. They had been working together and had wonderful fellowship with one another until one day a misunderstanding between them drove them apart. It was annoyance initially leading to some serious arguments and finally they parted ways without speaking to one another for weeks. Then one day, James decided to curve out a creek all along the edge of his farm, effectively diving the two farms.
Along came a carpenter looking for some part time work and so he approached John. When John asked the carpenter if he could build a wall 8 feet high all along the creek, the carpenter told him that he could. John told the carpenter that he had sufficient timber and nails available for the job. Obviously John’s intention was to have a wall high enough to block out his farm from that of James’ so that he need not have to look at his brother’s face anymore.
After supplying him with all the necessary raw materials and tools, the farmer left and headed to town leaving the carpenter to put up the intended wall. The carpenter went to work and eventually, instead of a wall, he built a very beautiful bridge across the creek to the James’ farm. When John returned he was shocked to find a bridge instead of a wall and James also came to have a look at the bridge. As both brothers climbed the bridge they approached each other and with tears of repentance in their eyes they hugged and made up. James thought John had built the bridge to reconcile whilst John relented in his heart concluding that the carpenter had conveyed a subtle but important message of reconciliation to him.
This is truly an awesome picture of reconciliation. It reminds me of how Jacob was trembling with fear for his life when he heard that Esau was coming to him. In fact, Jacob had assigned a plan to save his family expecting Esau to kill him the moment he had the chance. Instead when Esau met Jacob both brothers hugged and cried together! The hatred and desire to kill Jacob for stealing his father’s blessings meant for him had all but faded away through time and what was important to Esau was to have found his brother. What a beautiful picture of reconciliation.
It is not uncommon that people would go through some form of misunderstanding, quarrels, resentment even hatred for someone, at one time or another, who had hurt them resulting in the breakup of relationships that had existed in the past. To make matters worse, because of poor judgment or poor handling of the situation, best friends become bitter enemies.
The story we just read, tells me that we have a choice to make. If we live by “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life” we will build walls to keep those people who have hurt us out of our lives. However, if we obey our Lord Jesus who said, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…Matthew 5:44, we can build something that is even more wonderful; a bridge of reconciliation that will fulfill Psalms 133:1 which extols the amazing virtue of unity amongst brethen! Isn’t this more important that our pride or the gains we make by just wanting to be right? Jesus said, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Mark 8:36. Next time when you have a bad fight with someone, remember to build a bridge and not a wall!