A Bridge Over Troubled Water

bridge

[brij]

noun

1. a structure spanning and providing passage over a river, chasm, road, or the like. 

2. a connecting, transitional, or intermediate route or phase between two adjacent elements, activities, conditions, or the like

verb (used with object)                                                      thankful

1. to make a bridge or passage over; span
2. to join by or as if by a bridge
3. to make (a way) by a bridge

What a strange thought to come to mind on this Thankful Thursday: I’m thankful for bridges. The prompt? This headline:

Thousands form ‘Bridge to Peace’ Unity Chain to honor church shooting victims

The Ravenel bridge  is one of many sites that has been on our vacation “to see” list since we initially considered a Summer trip to Charleston. We’ve contemplated and planned and anticipated the trip for months, excited to study the wonderful architecture, stroll the historic streets, visit the beautiful gardens, bask on the warm beaches, and tour the many historic homes, churches, and Civil War sites. When news of the tragic church shooting exploded all over the media, there were so many analytical and emotional responses expressed nationwide: hurt, disbelief, anger, sadness, blame, hatred. It was difficult to fathom how widespread the ripple effect of the pain caused by this tragic loss of life would be. It was a senseless loss of brothers and sisters who had been walking in faith, worshiping, and praying…believers who had been welcoming and vulnerable in the face of hatred and evil. Sadly and selfishly however, somewhere beneath my initial expressions of grief and outrage simmered shallow, lurking questions: What will this mean for our visit? Will there be protests in the streets? Will we be looked upon with suspicion or resentment? Will there be danger?charlestonbridge

Then thousands of hands, hearts, and voices stood together, walked the Ravenel bridge, and stood in unity, in grief, in hope. What the enemy had intended for hate, hurt, and death transformed into love, hope, forgiveness, and life.

handbridgeThe betrayed and wounded painted a picture of grace and forgiveness. The hurt became the healers. In walking the bridge, they built a bridge.

In the literal sense, it would be impossible to travel our great nation without the many bridges spanning the mountains, valleys, and rivers. What a great idea: build a way across chasms, gorges, bridgeniterivers, and roadways! Pretty amazing really: architectural marvels and works of art at the same time! Someone dreamed, someone crafted, and they became reality.

Sometimes bridges can seem a little scary and uncertain… reaching, stretching across the unknown. What’s on the other side? Will it hold up under the weight? What would it be like to stay in one place, routine, sedentary and not go beyond the usual, the known, the comfortable…
Maybe that’s a stretch…  What about the metaphorical bridges: Spanning the gaps? Narrowing the differences? Meeting on the other side? Connecting? Making a way? What about this:
bridgecross
John 10:10
 Deep water, troubled water, raging water, murky and uncertain water…A secure bridge crosses over and provides safe passage and deliverance.
So, yes, I am thankful for bridges: bridges that connect, bridges that create unity and passage, bridges that traverse the gaps that divide, destroy, or swallow life and hope and love and unity. I am thankful for people who stretch and link and hold firm to connect and bond and strengthen and unite. I am thankful that God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Stood in the gap. Became a bridge: bridgewoodthe way,
     the truth, the life. bridgewooden
bridge5**Special thanks to April Knight, worship artist, for the beautiful sketch “Charleston Strong.”   Check out her talent at http://www.scripturedoodle.com and order the print.  🙂

13 thoughts on “A Bridge Over Troubled Water

  1. Deb, this is probably my favorite post of yours. Each week more and more of your heart and soul is laid open for all to see the compassion and gratitude within. I simply love the way you bridged your thoughts and brought it to the gospel. I simply think we’re kindred spirits. I’m so thankful you’re a part of our Thankful Thursday community.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, one more thing, a question. Did you do the bridge sketch with the Colossians verse on it? It fits with a devotional I’m writing for Laced With Grace tomorrow and I’d love to be able to use it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Marsha! I did not do the sketch. I borrowed the image from someone else who shared it. I just looked up the source and will go back and credit it. She gives permission to use it but asks to give her credit. It is called “Charleston Strong” by April Knight.

      Like

  3. your words, your heart, your God goggles are a blessing to me!!! this is great!!! i think the vulnerability added by your confession of the thoughts you had concerning the city and your up-coming trip lend to the depth of Glory revealed in your words :). and, i get to call you “friend”!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, this is wonderful on SO MANY LEVELS!! The definition, the images, the scriptures….such a beautiful post! We always hear about Christ bridging the gap for us, so it makes absolute sense that in order to be “Christ like”, or Christians, we should be willing to venture out into the unknown in love 🙂 Thank you this amazing post!

    Liked by 1 person

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