The video clip appeared frequently on TV last month. In the background, a destroyed bridge, the roadway dangling. In the foreground, two soldiers helping a frail elderly woman across three wet, slick planks mere inches above the icy cold river raging below. Behind them, a crowd of anxious desperate people, waiting their turn to cross those same slick planks.
The elderly woman shuffles forward, slow step by slow step. She hears the river rushing below her. She sees light reflecting off the wet boards. But most importantly, she feels the strength of the two soldiers supporting her. She knows she is not alone. With their help, she knows she can make it.
I suspect they are talking her across as much as physically helping her. “That’s it. We’re almost there. Don’t worry, I’ve got you. Just a little farther. You’re doing fine. Look straight ahead at the other bank. Just a few more steps. Don’t worry about your family, we’ll go back and help them across, too. You’re doing fine.”
The video clip ends before she reaches the other shore. We can only assume she made it across safely. We can only assume all those anxious waiting people made it across safely, too.
Which was the bridge? Those planks? Or the two soldiers?
Times of trouble can leave us desperate, disillusioned and demoralized. Perhaps we’ve lost a job. A beloved family member has passed away. A long relationship has ended. A spiral into addiction. We feel trapped, helpless, hopeless, doomed. All we can see is that icy cold water raging below us, those slick wet planks before us.
We need a bridge to help us through and out of those times. That bridge is always a person. Someone who holds out his/her hand and says, “I’m here. I’ve got you. I’m with you.”
Knowing we are not alone in our time of trouble is our greatest source of strength and courage. Knowing that someone is walking beside us, helping us through the difficult times, helping us focus on the other shore, telling us, “You can do this, we’ll get there together.”
Sometimes we need a bridge. Sometimes we are the bridge.
#Bridges #WeAreNotAlone #DesperateTimes #HelpingHand #Courage #Strength #MargaretGHanna