freetext. being a bridge

There is a really cool bridge that was renovated and recently was reopened! It’s actually a section of a huge regional park, but this specific spot will filled with walkers and mountain bikers.

Our kids loved it. I loved it. And Matt LOVED LOVED it. He just smiled and said “This is amazing!” over and over. Seeing all the bikers really encouraged us to return here later this week with our bikes to see what is all involved with this path!!

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As I was editing these photos, I was struck by the beauty of this bridge. And the oddly philosophical realization that “bridging” has been a recurrent phrase in my work life and faith life.

Allow me take a moment to say in these days, post-election, most of us are having big feelings. Some voice relief and hope, and some voice anger and fear. We will be transparent and say our hearts are heavy with disappointment and disbelief at the result. Matt and I looked at each other in stunned silence. We are not disillusioned. We have never needed the government or its leaders to demonstrate or enforce “christian values”. We do not require them to show signs of being a discipleship of Jesus. That’s not their role. But, this was a shock for us. These emotions have been difficult to process.

This taboo-discussion topic is one we will all need to deal with for many years. We are all going to need to start building some bridges ….. to place grace and love first in our relationships, especially in discussions regarding the leadership and people of our country.

God’s plan and character is not affected by our country’s elected leaders, whoever they may be. Our current state has been played out in various forms repeatedly in world history. The person in the oval office does not change our mandate to live for the glory of Jesus.

When darkness is exalted the light will stand out.

When elitism is glorified, the humble will draw attention.

When discrimination and hate is met with applause and nods, bravery in offering up a haven and a voice for the oppressed will be met with resistance but will be our response.

If your feelings are different than ours, then we say to you we respect your feelings as well. Yours are as real as ours, and that is truly OK. No one should tell you how you should be feeling, in either direction, since your convictions are your own. And that freedom is a beautiful yet costly gift.

So today I provide you with the image of a bridge. Our job is to live with compassion towards our fellow humans and the world we care for, stand up for the oppressed, place others before ourselves, and to love everyone. Jesus lived like this. Since He is our real leader, we will follow His example. 

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We desire to shine light on injustice. To clothe and feed the hungry. To say no to entitlement and yes to equality. To speak to everyone as Jesus did – with worth and hope, desiring to simply love because they are created by a loving God. We daily pray and hope for changed lives to recognize how desperate everyone needs Jesus.

In our flaws, we messily and clumsily carry out this mandate. So please be gentle with us too. Knowing even the church is heavily divided, with God-fearing people on either side.

Our family? We are going to get on our knees. Confess the selfishness that drives us away from God’s heart and ask for forgiveness. We will pray for the needs of our family, our friends, and the world. We will pray for wise counsel for our leaders on the local and national level. We will then stand up and make waves whenever and wherever we see Jesus, being faithful in the mundane and significant ways He has gifted our lives to us. May He be honored by our faith and the life of our family.

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