Melissa L. Chamberlain
One Place to the Next: Bridges What do you think of when you hear the word bridge? What do you think of when you see a bridge? Can you imagine what it would be like if there were no bridges to connect you from point “a” to point “b”? According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate dictionary a bridge is defined as, “a structure carrying a pathway or roadway over a depression or obstacle”. In a person’s life, there are many bridges. The bridges they use can take them to see family and friends or they may use a mental bridge to get them from a struggle to a point of psychological relief. The uniqueness of a bridge, and how a bridge can be built, is as unique as the way people are built. Once people are saved, have given their life to Christ, their uniqueness becomes much greater. Manufactured bridges have been around for thousands of years as well as mental bridges. The only difference is the construction.
Once Upon a Time
Long ago people use to find the smallest dip in the river to go across. Then one day a log fell over the creek. They connected the idea of using the log to cross the river. Then the idea of bridges ran rapid. Romans took the idea of bridges and did a complete 180 degree transition. The Romans were able to create bridges that would connect their waterways and roads. They were able to achieve great success with their impressive bridges. One of their bridges, the Arkadiko Bridge, an exquisite arch bridge, is still in use today and dates back to the Greek Bronze age. The bridge called Ponte S. Angelo is also still in use and has three arches. On the top side of the bridge, there are ten statues. According to Graf, author of Bridges that Changed the World, “The bridge was graced by ten statues of angels bearing the instruments of Christ’s suffering, signifying the meaning of Christ’s passion to those approaching the Vatican City”. These statues are still in existence today. Nardo, author of Roman Roads and Aqueducts, said, “…their bridges alone would rank them among history’s most accomplished builders”. What Rome was able to do with the construction of their bridges, is the same as what Michelangelo was able to do with his painting of the Sistine Chapel. Each bridge is individually made, just as we are individually made in God’s eyes.
We all deal with some type of bridge in our lives. Whether it is a bridge we have to drive over to get to work or the bridge we need to get over when dealing with someone at work. A fabricated bridge is able to go so deep into the water and hold so much weight. It is sometimes similar to us humans. We are able to go so far down to the ground with so much weight on top of us. The world uses bridges and we are used as bridges. The distinctiveness of the two is undeniable. We (humans) all have been created with free will. What we do with that free will is our decision. This free will can cause the weight on top of us and each day we can take a new step in removing the weight. Some of the weight can be healthy. Such as school and family. The unhealthy weight can be work or a social life. Both of these categories can be reversed as well. It is the decision people make, when they wake up in the morning, deciding how they will deal with the pressure of stress. Stress comes from not trusting God. Prayer can release our tensions in times of emotional stress. Psalm 62:5-6 says, “Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken” (Holman Christian Standard Bible). The association of both mental and physical bridges is a testament of faith. Have faith in God, for He has Faith in you.
The Jesus Link
Getlein, author of Living with Art, says “…suspension is the structural method we associate primarily with bridges”. However, Jesus is also our suspension; He keeps us from falling down. Once a bridge is