Since our daughter, Kelti, is teaching at a school in Laos we decided to spend our holiday visiting her. It was an amazing experience for our family since we had never traveled to an Asian country before. This set of blogs describes our adventures and lessons from them I want to remember.
It seems that everyone in Laos has a fence of some type. Many are made from bamboo, which grows prolifically. Often the bamboo is split and interwoven with itself or wooden slats or even barbed wire. Sometimes the bamboo sticks are painted different colors. Mainly we saw that at restaurants where proprietors are sectioning off their outdoor space from that of the next shop owner’s.
More up-scale homes and businesses have sturdy wood, metal or even concrete fences. Some fences are low, just to keep small animals out; others are head high and locked.
Fences are a great way of defining space. For the children, it’s the area where they can safely play. For the gardeners, it’s the place where the food they are growing is protected. For the shop owners, it defines the area they have to sweep every morning to keep the perpetual grime at bay.
As I think about the many fences of Laos, the different types and sizes and functions, I am reminded of the saying “Good fences make good neighbors.” Fences enhance our lives by defining our responsibilities and giving us a sense of ownership. They can also provide a sense of protection and privacy when needed.
I need fences to protect my relationships—with my husband, my kids and my extended family members and friends. I also need appropriate boundaries to support my health, productivity and spiritual growth.
God has graciously given us the ultimate fence of protection through His Word—specifically the 10 commandments that, when followed, prevent many of life’s pitfalls and miseries. So while I’m counting my daily blessings, I should thank God for the fences in my life and remember to keep them in good repair.