Good fences make good neighbors,
And locked doors make them great,
But on the inside what does that make?
Safe inside away from the world,
We protect our things from them.
What do we have that they should take?
Who is my neighbor? I must ask—
What is my charge to them, my task?
Who am I to love? Who is us? Who is them?
The walls I build do good neighbors build,
Is that enough love from me, bettering them?
I protect them from stealing from me,
Did I not save them from their sin?
Of course I did, but that is not love,
For I never knew the face of them I saved.
I never once cared for the needs of them,
Only saved them in my way not theirs.
What is their way? What is their need?
It is surely captivated by sin and greed.
If they were us, they’d be saved like us,
Christ at work within their lives, instead
Of wallowing through life half dead,
Stealing from me, who tried to help
Those two weeks we served doors unlocked.
We graciously open our doors to them—
Is that the thanks we get for our act?
What is the problem? How is it made right?
Where do I look for Your answers, my God?
The book of your Word the Words of Your Son,
Love Your neighbor as yourself—can it be?
But my neighbor is none like myself at all.
My neighbor steals. My neighbor lies.
My neighbor must be locked outside.
How can I love my neighbor, like I do me?
“I did,” it said so simply through deeds.
“I did, though my world was heaven.
I did, though Your world was not
Open to what my actions say and do,
That there is no you or I, no us and them.
I the bridge where a fence once stood
Unlocked the doors to you and them.”
Us is all that is left when fences come down.