This weekend my mother hen led her three adolescent chicks through my livestock fence towards the front yard. I wanted her to stay in the safety of our backyard, so I gently herded them back, but my poor fence wasn’t a big help.
A day later, I found the little ones all back in the coup at night, but no mother. I searched all the area that I thought she could be in, but didn’t find her. The next day, we found her outside the fence alive, but she had obviously been attacked and wasn’t walking.
I put her in a little box full of wood shavings and used a syringe (with no needle) to get her to drink and get her hydrated since she wouldn’t drink on her own. And I gave her a slurry made with some protein powder to try to restore her. Her best response was when she heard her little ones nearby and she called to them. I had hope she would recover and, in the morning, after keeping her in the box in our bathtub, she seemed to be doing better.
On my way back from a beautiful temple, I stopped to get her medicine, but when I arrived home, it was with sadness that I found she had already died.
The purpose of Fences
I have come to believe that the Lord’s fences, his commandments, are one of the greatest evidences of His love for us. Not one commandment is for his selfish enrichment. Every one is given to increase our capacity to receive and enjoy his riches.
“And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.” (D&C 78:19.)
“And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him.” (D&C 84:33–38.)
The purpose of a righteous fence is to provide a secure boundary within which we can prosper,
Allowing People Back in the Fence
We have a wonderful judge living in our neighborhood. He is very frequently required to pass judgement on people who have breached the fence.
One day, as he officiated at a marriage in his capacity as a judge, he said that the father of the bride or groom, covered with tattoos, said the words that no judge typically wants to hear on an occasion like this: “You were my judge”. Our judge was a bit nervous as he replied, “So, how was I?” As I remember, the man continued, “You were alright. What you did helped me turn my life around. I’m in a much better place today.”
This judge told us that what really has begun making a difference for good in these people is when he sincerely tells them, “I have no joy in administering this sentence to you, but I am required to administer according to our laws. I see so much potential in you. I know you can be better and I want you to succeed. I hope this sentence will give you an opportunity to begin to realize that potential.” He said that even when administering difficult sentences he’s had many people become quite emotional when they realize someone sees in them something they no longer see and that they care.
My dear friends who read this – Let us never put up a fence or barrier to people who are trying to come back. As watchmen in the tower, we may give warning of an encroaching enemy, but let us also watch for loved ones who may be fenced out and are lost and looking for the gate. Don’t compromise your protective fence, but lead them to the gate in love.