Sunday, January 29, 2006


John 10:1[ He Calls His Sheep by Name ] "Let me set this before you as plainly as I can. If a person climbs over or through the fence of a sheep pen instead of going through the gate, you know he's up to no good--a sheep rustler! (Msg)

Every year I teach the play Fences by August Wilson. I ask the students this question: "What is the purpose of a fence?"

Some answer "to keep animals or people inside"

Others reply "to keep bad things out."

I am often entertained by their debate as it settles into a philisophical discussion about fear and trust.

Then we read a quote by the main character Troy Maxson who says,
“Death ain’t nothing. I done seen him. Done wrassled with him. You can’t tell me nothing about death. Death ain’t nothing but a fastball on the outside corner. And you know what I’ll do to that! Lookee here, Bono… I lying? You get one of them fastballs, about waist high, over the outside corner of the plate where you can get the meat of the bat on it… You can kiss it goodbye…………………..That’s all death is to me. A fastball on the outside corner."
And then I ask the question: "How do you feel about death?"

And that's when we sneak in . . .
The supreme court tried to put up a wall to separate church and state. Keep Christ out of the schools--he's taboo, dangerous, politically incorrect. But it wasn't really a wall . . . just a fence. Sure it takes effort to climb, but you can see through it and reach through to the other side. I'd like to think of myself as a sheep rustler, only I'm stealing back the sheep to return them to their owner-like the fence-hoppin', mind-poppin', law toppin' Robin Hood of the public school . . .

I may not be able to tell anyone the true purpose of a fence. I guess I'm "on the fence" on that issue (wink, wink), but I thank You, Lord, that I wouldn't miss a beat if asked about the purpose of me.

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