Our dry creek was begging for a bridge. So Dan and I built a whimsical little structure out of scrap lumber, attaching the cross pieces at uneven angles. Just for the fun of it.
Depending on which article you read, there are anywhere from seven to eighteen different types of bridges—beam, arch, suspension, and truss, to name a few.
Our cute little irregular bridge is a simple beam style. We simply placed 2×6” beams on concrete blocks, and then attached the cross planks. (Well … mostly it was Dan who did the labor while I looked on admiringly.)
It was Sir Isaac Newton who said:
We build too many walls and not enough bridges.
There was a time when I built a brick wall around my heart to protect it from the bruise of rejection. I had cautiously boarded a roller coaster car with “Later-In-Life Dating” etched on the side. It was fun until it wasn’t fun.
So I deboarded and vowed to never get on that crazy ride again.
Here’s where my daughter and a couple of girlfriends got a little too meddlesome and interfering.
“Mom, I think God is going to surprise you with someone completely unexpected,” my daughter Summer texted. “And I can’t wait to meet him. He’s going to make you laugh until you cry, he’ll be the one saying, ‘Let’s go on an adventure.’ And you won’t be able to keep up …”
A girlfriend called to check in on me. Not knowing what Summer had texted, she said, “Keep your heart open because when you least expect it, God could lead someone to you. And this someone would bring you tea while you’re writing, and encourage you in your writing and speaking, and love to venture out with you.”
And then a friend stopped in for a catch-up conversation. With feet tucked beneath us and hugging mugs of tea, my friend asked what had come of the man I was seeing. There ensued a conversation over the complexity of dating and remarrying at our age. “Whatever you do,” my friend encouraged, “don’t shut down your heart because of this one experience.”
OK, God, I get it. How many people do you plan to send my way with this same memo?
We were never designed to build walls to keep people out. We were created for relationship with each other and with our Creator.
We were meant to build bridges that allow access to our hearts, trusting God in that precarious endeavor.
Here’s the thing: If I’d been successful in establishing that brick wall, there would be no Dan in my life. And what an indescribable loss that would have been.