To my dear grandchildren
"Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
Many years ago, a farmer had a son he dearly loved. But that young boy had developed quite a bad temper. Scoldings, warnings, even punishments did not seem to have success in changing the boy's temper outbursts. One day, after much prayer, the boy's father gave him a bag of nails. Every time the boy lost his temper, his father told him, he would have to hammer one of the nails into the wooden fence at the back of of their yard. The first day of this punishment the boy had to hammer 14 nails into into that fence.
But slowly, day by day, the boy found that he hammered less nails into the fence. He had discovered that it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence's hard wood. The nailing continued for some time, but the day finally came when the little boy didn't lose his temper at all. He excitedly told his father that evening. Dad wisely told him that now, each day he held his temper he could pull out one nail from the fence.
The days passed and the little boy worked very hard and was careful about his temper. Eventually the time came when he ran excitedly to his dad telling him that there were no longer any nails in the fence.
That particular day, he had removed the last one. Smiling, Dad took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.
When they reached the fence he looked lovingly at his son and said to him; "You've really done well and I'm very happy for you. But I want you to look carefully at something in the fence".
The boy stared intently at the fence where he had nailed so many nail. His Dad said, "Look at the holes in the fence. It will never be the same because the nail holes will always mark its surface. Remember son, when you lose your temper and say things in anger, they leave scars just like these nails did. You can apologize for your angry words and actions, but never forget; it won't matter how many times you say "I'm sorry", the scar will still be there".
"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking,
be put away from you, with all malice."
Love you all,