The Light-Bringer and the Brown-Eyed Girl were cold. The Gardener and I braved the snowy river road saw in hand to cut them a jog of wood. It was in the midst of splitting and stacking, teaching the Brown-Eyed Girl the way to load a pick up and not lose a stick that we remembered the fox holes.
My Daddy was always about getin’ wood. Winter we scouted while looking for the perfect Christmas tree, Summer we spent weekend after weekend hauling in the loads to feed the ole Blaze King wood stove that would burn non stop by the first week of October. The Fall was considered a success if the wood shed was perfectly stacked floor to ceiling with just the right length of pieces to make the armloads we carried in worth the effort. He taught all of us kids the secret of a well stacked cord of wood: “No fox holes. You stack each cord with each piece fitting snugly, no gaps for the ‘foxes’ to get through and your pile will stand sturdy from the bottom to the top.”
Song of Solomon 2:15 Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.”
I thought of how easy it is in relationships to leave gaps-fox holes, where the enemy can get in and destroy love, by being sloppy or inattentive to the ones we love. It struck me how important it is to construct defenses of love around my marriage and friendships, that leaves no openings for the foxes of offense, envy, jealousy, pride, selfish ambition, striving, wrath, gossip, greed, perversion, lust to enter and destroy the vineyard of my heart.
We loaded the black truck to the top, and sent them home with the tools for heat. I began to pray that the lesson of the fox holes would find it’s way into their heart, and that love would bloom, and grow in safety and they would discover for themselves the places where the foxes had entered, and catch them and build for their hearts a place of peace. I gazed at the Gardener and wondered at our own wall, lovingly holding his hand back up the river road I poked around the walls of my heart, and looked for foxes.
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Your writing is always a breath of fresh air!
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