"Never grow weary of building bridges
–Pope Benedict XVI
June 2, 2006
The parable of "The Bridge Builder"
One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox. "I'm looking for a few days work," he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?"
"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor, in fact, it's my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now it is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll go him one better. See that pile of lumber curing by the barn? I want you to build me a fence - an 8-foot fence so I won't need to see his place anymore. Cool him down anyhow."
The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you."
The older brother had to go to town for supplies so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing.
About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge—a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other. A fine piece of work—handrails and all—and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched.
"You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done." The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge and then they met in the middle, took each other's hand, finally reconciled. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder, "No wait, stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother.
"I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, "but, I have many bridges to build."
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