'Build bridges, not walls' is a significant part of the answer to the epidemic of loneliness. But the problem is the reason we build the bridges in the first place. We really don't believe that we are worthy of being known, or we do not feel confident in crossing the bridges in the first place. The bridge seems more like a tightrope swinging in the wind than a wide road built on solid foundations. Consequently we stand behind. our walls, peeking over the top, wanting to reach out, but afraid that we are not able.
I wonder how God felt as He contemplated that final moment before sending His son into the world. He was about to cross a significant bridge into culture, into time, into a people He called His own but who rejected Him more than one could expect to tolerate. Perhaps it is not very encouraging to note that he came to His own and His own did not accept Him, yet at the same time, Jesus reached out to unexpected people. He touched lives that many thought God had no interest in. Though He was rejected by His own people, He called a new people to Himself.
There is no doubt that there is a risk in crossing bridges, in pulling down walls. But the hope of the gospel is the hope of change and transformation, the hope of reconciliation. God asks us to do it because He has done it, and like much of God's will, obedience brings joy and blessing beyond compare. Crossing those bridges will introduce you to a world of beautiful, fragile people, a people gifted in special ways, a people called God's own. And in crossing those bridges, loneliness will be left behind as an orphan. Beyond the walls - across the bridges - lies deep and rich relationships in God's family.
June 21, 1992
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