Most people are familiar with the concept of “burning bridges” in your life which ends a relationship you had with someone that was once important to you. I wonder if as many people are familiar with the idea of building bridges, even when it isn’t easy.
Recently, a situation came into my life very unexpectedly where I was given someone to help who had made some very poor choices and burned a lot of bridges. Their choices were ones that many people would not have been comfortable with having in their homes, and to be honest in a lot of ways I wasn’t either.
I didn’t know the full story before they came to stay with us, and have since wondered if I would have been so quick to say yes had I known all the facts.
Since this person was already staying in our home, and had not caused any problems, my husband and I decided to go ahead and try to keep helping her. We shifted directions to seek ways to not only help her reach her personal goals, but to also learn more about Yeshua.
The thought kept coming to me that I should choose to build a bridge to this person and show her the love and grace that Yeshua has shown me in my own life, even if the circumstances are different.
So we reached out, spent a lot of time discussing her many questions about YHVH and the Bible, spent time counseling her on ways she could improve her situation and changes she could make. We explored local programs to help her get back on her feet, and even bought some things to help her physically manage the withdrawal symptoms she would experience as she fought for her sobriety.
Why am I telling you all of this?
In short, because this person was a copy of someone close to me who had burned our bridge years ago.
Someone I was not then in a position to help and with whom I had held a lot of anger and resentment for years. I was almost thrust into the role of helping someone else, and through it I was given the opportunity to address an old wound myself.
I’d like to tell you that we saw a great change in this new relationship, and that everything panned out perfectly. The truth is that she wasn’t really ready to change, and may not be for some time to come.
Even still, if nothing else made a difference, a seed was planted and watered. Yah’s love was shown, and instead of pushing her further into the belief that no one really cares, and that she is unworthy of something better, she had a brief glimpse at what life could be like.
Let’s be clear, my life isn’t perfect, my home isn’t spotless, and my words aren’t always full of love…
I’m human! You may have heard the phrase before “Yah doesn’t call the able, He calls the willing.” If the ministry given to this woman was about my ability to help her, or something special about me, then I doubt any good would be in it at all. If the ministry is about obedience to Yah and His love for a person, then man-oh-man will there be something to it!
This sort of situation is very unusual, but a good example of something we can all do everyday if we choose to. How many of us have that neighbor who drives us crazy, that family member whose calls we avoid, that mom at the Co-op/PTA/soccer/etc. who grates on our nerves?
What if the bridges we build aren’t just to some stranger, but to the neighbors all around us? What if the bridges we build are to other believers who don’t yet see the full truth of YHVH?
No matter who you’re talking about, building a bridge takes a solid foundation – Yah’s Word. Success requires careful placement of each piece and choosing the right materials for the job – our words and actions.
It doesn’t happen by accident, but requires being intentional, it also requires just a touch of discernment. Sometimes building a bridge into a toxic environment just isn’t a good idea, and that’s OK too. Sometimes that bridge is as much about our healing as it is to help the person on the other side.
May the Spirit of YHVH grant you peace and happy building!