[continued from part 2]… And then something unexpected happened. One evening, as the sun began to sink lower, an angry storm swept up. The sky became dark, and the waves grew large. The couple was afraid.
But, in the darkness, they began to hear voices calling out. They pulled their eyes from the Big Island and turned their heads toward the voices.
All around them were soft, flickering lights. And the lights were held by other islanders on other tiny islands, just yards from their own. Why had they missed them for so long? They were so close, the water between them was shallow, not like the miles of deep between them and the Big Island. The voices urged them to light their lanterns and starting building toward them.
And so, that very evening, the couple started new bridges out to the little islands. The others on the little islands began their bridges as well, and within a few short hours, the islands were connected in a beautiful network. Everyone gathered up their babies and raced across to meet new friends in the middle, to invite each other back to their islands, to play and eat and work together. No one noticed the storm or the rain. No one cared about the dark.
The bridges had worked. And, the couple had found others, or had been found by others, just like them: island-dwellers who were looking for “us.”
Relational bridges must be mutual, multiple lanes wide, and arrive at the right destination.
Today, you can find the couple sitting on their rocks still. But, they are surrounded by a network of little islands that make up a fringe around the Big Island. The couple and the islanders maintain their bridges and play in the waterfalls, real and blue and fresh. Their kids run back and forth freely across the strong bridges. They share their flowers and meals and lives.
And they are relentless bridge-builders, grabbing tools and forming bridges whenever new islands surface around them. They know others need to belong and belonging only happens with relationships.
Sometimes they all gather up their babies, cross the long one-way bridge, and visit the Big Island to enjoy the Activities. But they have quit searching for “us” there.
Because they found “us” when they decided to just be it.
And the couple finally knows they belong in their community of island-dwellers, all bridged together, with the lights and music of the Big Island in the distance.
This month’s series is on being a bridge-builder. In short, it’s about how to be like certain individuals who let God show up in their words and deeds and forever changed our little family. But, it’s not a series about our story; it’s a series about how Redemption made our story useful, even valuable, in a greater story.
If Jay and I know anything about being a bridge-builder, it’s because we were the ones stuck on an island. If we understand anything about the power of meeting people where they are and standing in the gap, it’s because that’s how we were rescued – by God, through average people.