Love Bridges (noun and verb)

Most likely all of us, at one time or another have seen an adventure movie or read a tale, where the main character comes upon a huge abyss and must get to the other side. The only way across is that rickety bridge that has fallen to ruin. You can picture it I’m sure. It’s very long and falling apart. If it’s wooden, there are surely slats falling off with every movement. Or perhaps it’s made of mossy jungle vines. It’s definitely sagging and swaying in the steam that rises from the chasm below. It is entirely doubtful whether anyone could possibly pass successfully over the long, treacherous expanse. But the hero steps onto it, with much trepidation, determined and with steely resolve. As we’re watching we’re torn between the tension of what will surely happen on this skeletal bridge and the subconscious thought that surely they won’t kill-off the main character just yet. Nine times out of ten, the hero makes it across and we can exhale.

Most likely all of us, at one time or another have encountered in our lives an abyss or chasm or even just little rifts in relationships. Sometimes it feels like someone is emotionally ‘far away’ or out of reach. Human connections are like that. It could be with a spouse when life’s stresses have for too long been the focus and cold has crept in, a teenage child with whom many an angry word has been exchanged, a sibling with whom there are old wounds, a friend who betrayed or a colleague who went too far with cutting words. The varieties are endless when humans are involved. There are crevasses and pits of sadness, pride and hurt, anger and frustration, blame and resentment, resignation and loneliness, hopelessness and cold. At times they run too deep and the gulf seems too wide to traverse. A bridge is needed to somehow reach across.

Bridges in relationships can be built of materials perhaps not initially considered for a solid structure. Love bridges are made with a hand tenderly touching a shoulder on the way by, a smile or twinkle in the eye, shared laughter, a compliment instead of a criticism, a kind gesture, a question with genuine interest instead of a directive, an unexpected note or call, an apology, an assumption and trust in someone’s good intentions, genuine humility over pride. These are but a few of the building materials that can be used after the groundwork has been laid. 

We are just the workers in building these bridges of course. The Design happens long before, with the blueprints being drawn by the Architect, the Master Engineer. For love bridges to be built, we must come by choice looking for work, as unskilled labourers, with a willingness to be led and trained by the Architect. We are asked only to come with prayer and with the constant knowing that, with Him, all things are possible. New spans can be built and broken bridges can be repaired. If we come humbly ready to work, opening our mind and listening with our hearts, and are committed to building a bridge, He will give us the tools and materials of compassion, persistence, patience, courage, creativity, tenderness, trust, levity, authenticity and vulnerability. 

With trepidation we alone might attempt to bridge the gulf, entirely doubtful whether it’s even possible to pass successfully over such a long, treacherous and lonely expanse of disconnection. Sometimes it is even unknown what really lies on the other side. But the first step is choice. Choosing to hope and trust and to be open to the Leading of the Architect. Every loving effort is a fresh slat in the bridge that can be built anew. With time, intention, effort and persistence, we may even find someone taking timid steps toward us through the mist, across that bridge we’ve helped to restore. 

8 thoughts on “Love Bridges (noun and verb)

  1. Oooh, that’s good, Val! Thank you for that perspective! “For love bridges to be built, we must come by choice looking for work, as unskilled labourers, with a willingness to be led and trained by the Architect.” We must come a) by choice and b) looking for work: I love how you phrased that; those are two such good points that I hadn’t really thought about. And that the first step is choice — brilliant; so true. Urg, so many possible human-relationship chasms to cross….. There’s no shortage in opportunities to get building on those bridges, for sure. Thanks for this nudge/reminder/refresher.

    1. I’m glad that struck a chord, Jenn!! Amazing how pretty much all of our regenerative efforts have to start with choice, huh? =)

  2. Dear Val –
    What a wonderful article! Finding our way as we wander through life can be tricky, for sure. Trying to make the right decisions on our own can be very tricky, impossible really. You have conveyed so well our need to trust that the Lord is always with us, ready and waiting for us to ask Him for His help. Thank you for reminding me of this important truth.

  3. Dear Val –
    What a wonderful articulate article! Every day the Lord is quietly waiting for us to ask Him for His help. Thank you for reminding me of this important truth, that we need Him when making difficult decisions…all decisions actually!
    Congratulations on your first thoughtful article here!

  4. Dear Val –
    What a wonderful articulate article! Every day the Lord is quietly waiting for us to ask Him for His help. Thank you for reminding me of this important truth, that we need Him when making difficult decisions…all decisions actually!
    Congratulations on your first thoughtful article here!
    PS – Fascinating double-entendre title!

  5. Oh Valerie, oh my goodness have you ever aptly described a place I’m sure we all have been in!! Thank you thank you for this powerful, succinct analogy. I am thinking of many of my loved ones with whom to share it! It is so true that the Lord uses us to help do His work to shed light on His Truth; He certainly inspired you to do so here.

    1. Hi Laurie. I’m so glad this resonated with you, especially enough to perhaps also resonate with others as well. It highlights, doesn’t it, that all relationships in our lives are part of our constant “growth opportunities”. Thanks for reaching out Laurie. Be well!
      Val

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