Good Fences Make Good Neighbors–Or So They Say

A Reflection on Galatians 5: 1-6

(With apologies to Robert Frost)


“Good fences make good neighbors,”

or so the saying goes.

Lines we humans draw to separate us from them

and theirs from ours


Lines of color


and kin


“Good fences make good neighbors”

So we keep drawing lines:

lines marking borders between those we like

and those we’d rather just avoid


Some as new as yesterday


Some going back two thousand years or more

Jew or Greek

slave or free

male or female

circumcised or not


Lines demarking who is in

and who is out

whom to trust and

whom to fear


Because, we are assured,

“Good fences make good neighbors.”


First we draw the lines

and then

we throw up walls—

that keep us safe and keep them in their place.


But “something there is that does not like a wall”

Forces of nature conspire

to remove the divides we humans like to build and keep


Posts decay, boards rot, stones crumble

the ground remains


and undivided


There underneath the detritus of collapsing walls and decaying fences:

The ground in which “we live and move and have our being.”

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s