I went out walking yesterday morning, excited for the opportunity to have my aunt all to myself. She is a dear lady; full of life, passion, and care. She is not a simple person, but there is simplicity in knowing and loving her. As a child I remember that she always talked to me and showed her simple love to me. We set out down the road, chatting excitedly about the things that we've learned about each other in the short time we've been together. Amazing how one can feel so connected when our worlds have been so far apart. As we shared from our hearts, the connection grew stronger, cementing together a trust and a love that can only be from God himself.
After many turns in the road, stop signs, cross-walks, and passer-byes going the other direction, we finally came to the bridge. We stopped for a moment as my aunt said, "This is halfway across the bridge." She told me that whatever the day, whatever the hour, whatever the weather, she always stops here. She looks out over the water and takes a minute to marvel at the wonder of life, to reflect on the gift of life that we've been given. As we stood looking out at the boats in the harbor she talked to me about how different it looks from day to day. Clear and blue, much like a photograph at times, but often gray, hazy, with fog blocking the view. On those grim days, one can hardly see the beauty of the little harbor at all. You know it's there but the weather makes it difficult to see.
I began thinking about how true that is for each of us.
When we walk halfway across the bridge and our view is limited by the clouds, oh how we want to turn and walk back!
We cannot see the perspective that God has for us
and we fear.
Much like the disciples in the boat when they got caught in the storm.
We are lost and afraid and would rather go home. A lot like life.
Sometimes we can't just turn and go home, we need to stand and face the storm.
We need to stand in the middle of the bridge letting the wind hit our cheeks,
looking far and hard into the fog.
We need to look both ways,
at what is in front of us
and what is behind,
feeling the rain, listening to the thunder
until we can believe again that
the beauty is still there.
That peace and hope are still there.
The comfort of the everlasting arms is still there.
The everlasting arms of the One who does not change.
Who is the same yesterday. Today.
He is still there.
We believe He is there, and we begin to trust that we can keep walking.
He has promised, "I will never leave you or forsake you."
My aunt and I turned and came home.
In life, I am standing in the middle of the bridge.
Looking into the chilly fog,
waiting for the sun to warm me
and for the clear beauty of the harbor to come into view.
Waiting for God to say to me, as He did to the disciples in the boat, "Do not fear. It is I."
"Walk to the other side of the bridge....."