I fell big time for one of those videos that floats around Facebook.
A little boy and a little girl stand on a ledge, or perhaps it’s a very high sidewalk. There is a large gap the girl is afraid to cross. Without hesitation the boy straddles the gap, lowers himself down and becomes a human bridge. And in the cutest way ever, she scrambles over.
I got misty eyed because I’m sappy that way. And if the video wasn’t enough already, the song Bridge Over Troubled Water played in the background.
Immediately people sprang to mind who have been a bridge in my life. Folks who came along at just the right time with just the right word or just the right resource. A parent who loves with no strings attached. A son who forgives. A grandfather whose light still shines on the bridge he crossed from sinner to redeemed.
I thought of how we serve as a bridge from time to time – walk a friend thru a struggle, step up to see a difficult project thru, bring up a child, care for an aging parent.
You lay your self down, give part of yourself up, all in the hope that another is helped, loved, found.
It’s not easy. You have questions. Will I get thru this? Will this make a difference? Will there be anything left of me?
And the hardest part… you don’t always get to know the answers.
A few years back the husband and I took a trip to Washington, D.C. We love to tour historic sites and this time it was the Battle of Antietam.
We spent several hours in Sharpsburg, Maryland. We toured the memorials on the cornfields where so much of the battle took place. Then we went to Burnside’s Bridge. Men quite literally laid down their lives on that bridge. Perhaps some wondered if they would survive the day or if their presence would make any difference to a fractured nation. Far too many did not live to know.
Lately I’ve been studying the four gospels of the New Testament, learning more about the bridge I love the most… Jesus. He is described in many ways, but I like to think of him as the bridge from this problematic world to eternity.
I’ve been on the bridge a long time.
Thankfully, I’ve not had to lay down my life in the way of a soldier. I’m not scrambling over it in the cute way of the girl in the video. I’m not even remotely graceful in my crossing.
I’m just plodding. With mistakes and questions and wondering. Not so unlike Jesus’ early followers.
And the main thing I’m learning, actually the thing I know for sure – it’s all okay.
I don’t need to be perfect. It’s okay to wonder. And I don’t need the answers.
I just need the bridge.