Mending Broken Relationships
By Steven L. Conley
It was a dark, dreary day as I stood in
front of the living room window watching
the rain dance on the driveway. I had just
hung the phone up after talking to my mother,
and as was normally the case, we were fighting
over nothing. I sat down and began wondering,
"Where and when had it gone so wrong
between Mom and me?"
As the years went by, we had drifted further
and further apart. Dad had passed away three
years ago and things had been very difficult
for Mom. But she wouldn't let me help her.
Well, that's not entirely honest. I admit
there were times she needed me and I wasn't
able to help. With a marriage, kids and
work, sometimes it's all I can do to survive
The rain had stopped and the room went
silent. I walked over to the window and
looked up into the sky. With the dark gray
clouds hovering above me, a clap of thunder
and a flash of lightning forced me to step
back from the window. The rain began again;
only it was much more intense. I walked
over to the bookcase and decided it was
a perfect day to lounge around and read
I must have looked at every book in the
bookcase, trying to find something that
would hold my interest. On the top shelf,
I noticed a picture of Mom and Dad. The
picture had been taken only days before
Dad passed away. Dad had always been a hard
working man, a good provider and a wonderful
father. I picked up the picture and stared,
remembering all of the wonderful times we
had when I was a child. A tear ran down
my cheek as I touched Dad's face in the
The rain abruptly stopped and the sun began
to shine. What a perfect time for a rainbow
to appear, I thought. As I continued to
read, I was interrupted by a hammering sound
coming from the house next door.
I stood up, walked over to the window and
noticed my next-door neighbor replacing
a small section of his white picketed fence.
The fence had been damaged the previous
week. As I stood there watching him take
down the damaged section and replace it
with a new fence; I wished the problems
in life could be fixed so easily.
My mind drifted back to the relationship
I had with my mother, or you could say the
relationship I did not have with my mother.
I continued to watch my neighbor as he methodically
replaced the damaged section of fence.
The first thing he did was to recognize
that the fence had a problem; it was damaged.
Then he had to remove the damaged portion
of the fence. Next, he nailed the new fence
into place, and the last thing he did was
paint the fence. After he had finished the
process, you could not tell that the fence
had been damaged. It looked brand new.
I turned away from the window, and sat
back down on the couch. It suddenly occurred
to me that I had a damaged fence in my own
life, and it was up to me to repair it.
I knelt down in front of my couch and ask
God to forgive me for not treating my mother
as I should, and to help me find a way to
begin to repair our damaged relationship.
As I stood up, I realized that God had
already helped me to take the first step,
by revealing to me that there was a problem.
Without hesitation I picked the phone up
and called Mom. The phone rang a few times
before this wonderful voice answered, "Hello."
"Hi Mom it, it's me."
"Is everything ok?" she asked.
"Yes Mom, I feel fine. I just wanted
to say, I love you Mom."
There was silence on the other end of the
"Mom are you still there?" I asked.
"Yes, I'm here." I could tell
by the cracking tone in her voice that she
"Mom, I'm sorry for the way I have
been acting. Will you give me another chance?"
"Nothing in this world would make me
happier," she said.
"Mom, I will try my best to be the
son to you that I should be."
Five years later, God took Mom home to
be with Him. There is not a day that goes
by that I don't think of her and miss her
dearly; and not a day goes by that I don't
thank God for helping me mend a broken fence
in my life.
Do you have any broken fences in your life?
If you do, I know the greatest Carpenter
in the world, and he works for free. His
name is Jesus. All you need to do is ask.
Steven L. Conley is a writer based in
Vienna, WV. He can be contacted at 304-295-3111