“Rita Snowden tells a story from the Second World War. In France, some soldiers with their sergeant brought the body of a dead comrade to a French cemetery to have him buried. The priest told them gently that he was bound to ask if their comrade had been a baptized member of the Roman Catholic Church. They said that they did not know. The priest said that he was very sorry but in that case he could not permit burial in his churchyard. So, the soldiers took their comrade sadly and buried him just outside the fence. The next day they came back to see that the grave was all right and to their astonishment could not find it. Search as they might, they could find no trace of the freshly dug soil. As they were about to leave in bewilderment, the priest came up. He told them that his heart had been troubled because of his refusal to allow their dead comrade to be buried in the churchyard; so, early in the morning, he had risen from his bed and with his own hands had moved the fence to include the body of the soldier who had died for France.
“That is what love can do. The rules and the regulations put up the fence; but love moved it.”
From my morning readings in “The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians”, Daily Study Bible Series, by William Barclay.
The Church in the Wilderness before an Icelandic Summer Storm, a photo by Stuck in Customs on Flickr.
I think it’s important to seek within ourselves for the fences we have built which keep people out of faith. God wants us to reach out, not fence out. I try to remember that we are all children of God, and that God loved us when we hated Him. What right then do I have to fence anyone out?