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Over the Fence

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  Matthew 5:16 KJV

over the fenceAs Jane scanned her carefully tended lawn and flower garden, she realized something wasn’t right.

After a few moments, she realized she couldn’t see blooms on the flowering vine she’d planted beside the fence. Masses of green leaves hung on the vine as it draped itself up and over the fence, but no flowers appeared. This frustrated Jane since she looked forward to seeing the colorful blooms.                 

“Hey, Jane!”

Recognizing the voice of her friendly neighbor, Joe, Jane turned and saw him standing at the nearby often-used gate between their properties.

“I thought you were over here,” he said. “Say, my wife sure has enjoyed the flowers you have on our side of the fence. She’s had to stay in bed since the surgery and can see them from her room.” Jane’s confused pause was evident. “Yeah, sure cheered her up. Come look.”

When Jane stepped through the gate to the other side, she saw them. Numerous blossoms from her vine spilled over the top of the fence and down to the ground on her neighbor’s side—flowers unseen from her side but evident on his.

Sometimes, this happens in my spiritual life. Perhaps I briefly smile while listening to a friend share a problem. Or maybe I start a new area of service. But no matter what I do, it could benefit someone else I’ll never know about. 

Actually, I don’t have to know. Yet in God’s plans for me, there’s an implication. I must be aware of possible unseen effects of what I do as I serve God. As Jane learned, an unconscious action may have an unknown and eternal impact.

What service might you perform over the fence? After all, Jesus said to let our lights shine.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and TheOtherKev.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Anne Adams

Anne Adams is a retired church staffer living in Athens, Texas, where she writes a historical column for the local newspaper. Her book Brittany, Child of Joy, tells about her mentally disabled daughter and was published in 1986 by Broadman. She has taught junior college history and has published in Christian and secular publications for forty years.