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The gates of MaryGate – are they open or closed? What is the significance of it? One of the most serious accusations we here at MaryGate Farm can receive is “You left a gate open!” The wrong gate left open can have serious and often devastating consequences. We take closing a gate behind us as a number one priority. If one of the yard gates is left open the goats, like locusts, will annihilate our greenhouse garden, all of my landscaping and who knows what else on the deck and house! If the front gate to the farm gets left open the animals escape and it is a major problem getting four horses and a donkey back in the pasture. (Not to mention 20 goats!) Potentially terrible consequences are if a car should hit such a large animal – mostly I am afraid of hurting a person. If you want to see the hairs rise up on the back of our necks – just suggest that we left the wrong gate open!
And it has happened. We have all done it without meaning too. Human error is the biggest factor to keeping all of our animals safe. In tandem with that though, I think about the gates in my attitudes, thinking, words and actions. Keeping a gate open can be vital also. Can the animals get to water? Can the animals get to food? Can visitors come freely? A gate open at the appropriate time can be as important to one closed.
In tandem with that though, I think about the gates in my attitudes. Am I open to people’s lives, decisions and views? Am I closed to their viewpoint and why? Because they think differently than I do? Is there solid basis for my disagreement? I have found I need to assess the reason for the disagreement. Is there truth involved? If there is I need to defend it – but charity must be the way I flavor it. It is very hard for me to sometimes separate a persons dogged propensity for rejecting Church teaching from their heart searching but not quite getting to truth.
My personal gate needs to be open to the sincere searching of another human being. It needs to be open to the absolute dignity of every human being no matter where they are in their lives. Yes, I need to live and speak the truth but I need for God to work the growth. As I swing gates open and closed every day, I ponder the importance of not only knowing the truth and defending it, but to letting love govern all my actions and thoughts. Not always easy!