Today’s Word from Deacon Amy

You have probably heard it said that good fences make good neighbors. We have come dangerously close to being poor neighbors lately. You may recall that during a wind storm in November, we had a large Madrona tree fall on one of our fences. While we were able to remove the tree and patch the field fence fairly quickly, we neglected to properly repair the electric fencing that reenforces our exterior fences. For quite a while, that wasn’t an issue.

Until a couple of weeks ago. When we went out to feed one morning, we discovered that our sow, Julia, was happily rooting up the grass along the outside of the fence. Oh, no! Luckily, Julia is very food-motivated and was willing to duck back under the fencing that she had pulled up, in exchange for a few zucchinis. My daughter, Ava, and I were able to put a “patch” on the fence and keep her in place.

Until last Friday. I was in my office at church when my daughter, Lia, called. “Mom, we’ve got a problem.” Once again, Julia was happily plowing up the ground outside the fence. I grabbed my keys and headed for the door, peeking into Robin’s office to quickly let her know where I was going (I’m pretty sure that in Trinity’s long history, no minister has ever flown out the door to track down a wayward hog). I briefly pondered running to PayLess for more zucchini, but Lia thought that last night’s leftovers might be tempting enough.

I hoped that Lia was right. By the time I got home, changed my clothes, and ran outside, Julia had left our property and was meandering along the neighbor’s fence. Oh, no! I really did not want to be “that” neighbor! But, with last night’s chicken alfredo as bait, Julia happily followed me back to our property, and once again ducked under the fence that she had pulled up.

This time, Lia and I took the time to walk the fence lines and properly repair the electric fence, even adding an additional line at her favorite escape point. I’m fairly confident that Julia’s days of wandering have come to an end.

We were dangerously close to being very poor neighbors. I am so thankful that Ava and Lia saw the pig outside the fence when they did, that I was able to run home quickly, that we had supplies on hand to make the needed repairs, and that Julia enjoys leftovers.

We learned that the old adage is true; good fences do make good neighbors. While most of our neighbors enjoy watching our little farmyard as they walk by, I’m fairly certain that none of them would have happily welcomed a 450-pound wayward sow wandering through their yards.

We do try to be good neighbors.

Jesus tells us, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” What a beautiful world this would be if we all lived out this advice. Keep your messes on your side. Don’t judge others. Don’t condemn. Just love.

This world needs more good neighbors. Let’s all work together to be good neighbors.

Deacon Amy