Faith & Inspiration

Mending Broken Relationships

By 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 a book.

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 picture frame.

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 damaged relationship.

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 answered, "Hello."

"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," she said.
"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


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