Posts Tagged With: bridge

Bridge-Burning, Bridge-Building, and Wall-Building

A boy once lived through a river crossing. The waters receded and the ground became dry and the people crossed. But a few people stayed in the middle, stranded on high places in the river. They lived on islands in the middle of a grand, wide river.

As the boy grew up, he noticed the people in the middle. When he became a man, he longed to cross the stream again to bring more people across. He dreamed of just the right bridges and how to reach those on the other side and those on the islands.

He lived at the edge of the river and build a few walls for his home and then began planning to reach those on the islands and those on the other side. He watched their habits. He waved at people on the islands and on the other side, and he one day noticed that if he stepped into the stream a little and asked for help, he could reach the islands nearby. He would visit the people and talk to them. Sometimes people received him, sometimes they didn’t.

The budding bridge-builder would bring food and the fruit of the land to those on the islands. He gave them things to read to pass their time with joy. A few crossed over and left their islands, and joy filled his heart. All of his friends and family received the newly landed people and he was happy.

Gradually, he invited others to help him build bridges to those further out on the islands. He would look for the best place to land the bridge and visited with gifts of peace. On occasion he found islands where people had built walls all around the islands like fortresses and who refused to cross over or even to greet him. He pressed on and went to the islands that were accessible.

Sometimes he would build a bridge to an islander and the person attacked him. When this happened, he put up a gate on the island bridge to protect himself and the other incorporated citizens. Then, he moved on to build more bridges.

On rare occasion, he found islanders who would receive him freely at first, but later would burn all the bridges to their island. While he never understood why people would stay on the islands, he refused to muddle in the river weeping forever over the bridges that could have been and would venture out to new islands.

He kept finding new islands. Occasionally, he would even call out to those on the other side and would send a boat to retrieve those who wanted to cross. Yes, there is danger in bringing people safely to land. Yes, it is a life prone to long hours alone reaching islands and reaching out to the other side, but every time someone rejoined the people of the land and the rejoicing went up, the labor was worth it.

So will you build bridges or burn them? Build brick walls with graffiti smiley faces or put in doors and windows, ready to open the gates when the time is right.

Categories: Missions, Peer support, Testimony | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving: A Rare Fruit

The other day, I was sharing the good news with a person at the bus stop. Others milled about and listened, a gentle dialogue ensued as I tried to direct the conversation away from the theories of good and evil or neutrality of all morality to the facts that we have all sinned.

Just then, a young man I had seen and talked to early, a couple years earlier, walked up to me and said, “Do you remember me? My name is D. You had asked me if I was saved. Well, now I am saved. I am going to [name omitted] Church. I just wanted to tell you.”

Oddly enough, even though the person had interrupted the conversation that had been happening, even though the earlier conversant had become a little antagonistic, when the young man said that they had been saved, the person with all the “hard questions” said, “Yes, that’s good.”

It reminds me of this story from the Gospels in Luke 17:11-21

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2017:11-21&version=HCSB

To paraphrase: 10 lepers (a disease like AIDS) had been sent by Jesus to show themselves to the priests. The lepers were all healed. But only an ethnically diverse healed leper returned to thank Jesus. One in ten. So if only ten percent of those who are born again, ever thank those who witness to them, there are likely others who are now attending church who never took the time to contact me. In fact, I know of others who have taken steps of faith after being challenged.

Have you ever taken the time to thank those who bless you? Have you ever taken the time to thank those whom you ask to pray for you? Have you ever taken the time to thank Jesus for healing you? Are you glad you are alive? Tell Jesus today. He’ll be glad you did, and it will be recorded in the scrolls of eternity.

What am I thankful for today?
A new friend took a book of John and started reading it.
A co-worker was challenged to re-consider a public confession of faith for Jesus.
I can carry on an ordinary conversation yet smell like Jesus with many people.
The word of God is reaching more and more students at the local community college.
Time with my wife.

That is what Peasant Perfume is all about.

Simple words, meaning discovered,
truth discerned, kindness shared.
A dance of lives around the tree
and then reaching out to enjoy wisdom
from on high that brightens heart and opens eyes
… yet is full of integrity
and harmless but for the reminder to get dressed.
Tree of life or tree of knowledge of good and evil?
you may ask.
Yes, the knowledge of good and evil has been chopped down,
life takes root in those once confused.
Leaves from that tree cover souls
and soften steps across holy ground.
Do you hear the sound?
The Lord is walking with us now.
We have crossed the bridge,
there shall be no turning back now.

Categories: Evangelism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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