Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bridges and Walls

Our church's lay speaker gave the sermon a few Sundays ago, a message that has continued to resonate with me these many weeks.  He spoke about bridges and walls.  Afterward, I thought of the many times in my life I've attempted to build walls around me, thinking that I would be safe, free from hurt, free from risk, if only I constructed a wall that was strong enough and high enough to be impenetrable. As I've gotten older, however, I realize that building a wall is a rather fruitless effort. One can never be free from hurt or risk. In fact, in building a wall, one runs the greater risk of avoiding love, fun, adventure and reward. A far better exercise is to build a bridge. Bridges allow one to reach out to another, meet new friends, develop new understandings, cultivate new interests, and perhaps even surprise oneself with the things one can learn, especially about oneself.  That very evening after our lay speaker's sermon, I heard Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and there the concept of bridge building became even more real for me. As Paul Simon wrote in the lyrics to that 1960s hit, we can all be bridges for others' troubled waters, to help lift another up who may be feeling down, in pain or alone. My message to myself these days is to tear down any walls I perceive around me and to, instead, become a bridge. That may be my most rewarding construction yet.

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