Steven L. Conley
It was a dark, dreary day as I stood in front
of the living room window watching the rain
dance on the driveway. I had just hung the phone
up after talking to my mother, and as was normally
the case, we were fighting over nothing. I sat
down and began wondering, "Where and when
had it gone so wrong between Mom and me?"
As the years went by, we had drifted further
and further apart. Dad had passed away three
years ago and things had been very difficult
for Mom. But she wouldn't let me help her. Well,
that's not entirely honest. I admit there were
times she needed me and I wasn't able to help.
With a marriage, kids and work, sometimes it's
all I can do to survive the day.
The rain had stopped and the room went silent.
I walked over to the window and looked up into
the sky. With the dark gray clouds hovering
above me, a clap of thunder and a flash of lightning
forced me to step back from the window. The
rain began again; only it was much more intense.
I walked over to the bookcase and decided it
was a perfect day to lounge around and read
I must have looked at every book in the bookcase,
trying to find something that would hold my
interest. On the top shelf, I noticed a picture
of Mom and Dad. The picture had been taken only
days before Dad passed away. Dad had always
been a hard working man, a good provider and
a wonderful father. I picked up the picture
and stared, remembering all of the wonderful
times we had when I was a child. A tear ran
down my cheek as I touched Dad's face in the
The rain abruptly stopped and the sun began
to shine. What a perfect time for a rainbow
to appear, I thought. As I continued to read,
I was interrupted by a hammering sound coming
from the house next door.
I stood up, walked over to the window and noticed
my next-door neighbor replacing a small section
of his white picketed fence. The fence had been
damaged the previous week. As I stood there
watching him take down the damaged section and
replace it with a new fence; I wished the problems
in life could be fixed so easily.
My mind drifted back to the relationship I
had with my mother, or you could say the relationship
I did not have with my mother. I continued to
watch my neighbor as he methodically replaced
the damaged section of fence.
The first thing he did was to recognize that
the fence had a problem; it was damaged. Then
he had to remove the damaged portion of the
fence. Next, he nailed the new fence into place,
and the last thing he did was paint the fence.
After he had finished the process, you could
not tell that the fence had been damaged. It
looked brand new.
I turned away from the window, and sat back
down on the couch. It suddenly occurred to me
that I had a damaged fence in my own life, and
it was up to me to repair it. I knelt down in
front of my couch and ask God to forgive me
for not treating my mother as I should, and
to help me find a way to begin to repair our
As I stood up, I realized that God had already
helped me to take the first step, by revealing
to me that there was a problem. Without hesitation
I picked the phone up and called Mom. The phone
rang a few times before this wonderful voice
"Hi Mom it, it's me."
"Is everything ok?" she asked.
"Yes Mom, I feel fine. I just wanted to
say, I love you Mom."
There was silence on the other end of the line.
"Mom are you still there?" I asked.
"Yes, I'm here." I could tell by the
cracking tone in her voice that she was crying.
"Mom, I'm sorry for the way I have been
acting. Will you give me another chance?"
"Nothing in this world would make me happier,"
"Mom, I will try my best to be the son
to you that I should be."
Five years later, God took Mom home to be with
Him. There is not a day that goes by that I
don't think of her and miss her dearly; and
not a day goes by that I don't thank God for
helping me mend a broken fence in my life.
Do you have any broken fences in your life?
If you do, I know the greatest Carpenter in
the world, and he works for free. His name is
Jesus. All you need to do is ask.
Steven L. Conley is a writer based in Vienna,
WV. He can be contacted at 304-295-3111