Lenten Devotional, March 2: By Toni Richerson

As children, my brother and I had different jobs we were to do separately and sometimes together. The jobs or chores ranged from simple to more involved as we got older and changed from being focused on Saturday to whenever we were needed to help out. The times we were together sometimes had a fair amount of disagreement as to how a job would proceed thereby affecting both the length of time it took to complete and at least a close version of the outcome expected somewhat unfavorably by one or both of our parents.

As most siblings may attest, spats have been known to lead into disagreements, arguments, and the occasional stand-off resulting in brooding, blaming, and that ultimate stare-down.  Depending on the duration, if this line in the sand is not erased, either or both parties may embellish somewhat unfavorably what the other said or did.

The line was getting deeper and more visible one summer and there was no giving up or in to resolve what my brother or I must have seen as irreparable. It is significant that neither he nor I could remember, even months later, what the line represented.

Our Dad decided that building a five-line, barbed wire fence was needed and we were just the pair of folks that could get that done. Metal posts, wire, and any supplies or equipment needed was for us to figure out to complete the job. Communication was required and what neither of us wanted because we were both hurt while remaining stubborn to our cause.

For three weeks two novice fence builders went from not talking to laughing, failing to succeeding, crying to trying it again…and…eventually…forgiving and asking for forgiveness.  Not being perfect, we still had our disagreements and differences of opinion through the years…and always remembered the fence summer.

Jesus taught His disciples through stories, metaphors, and by answering their questions. He showed them how to pray, how to look out for each other, to have compassion, to rebuke sin, and ultimately to forgive one another even as He forgave. They still argued, disagreed, lived and worked together, and grew in their love, knowledge, and understanding of Jesus.

As we move toward Easter, may we be reminded, encouraged, and blessed by the Holy Spirit to wipe away the line we draw that keeps us from asking for and receiving forgiveness. 

John 17: 21 – Jesus’ Prayer

I pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are one—as You are in me, Father, and I am in You. And may they be in us so that the world will believe You sent Me.


Subscribe to the SMBC Blog