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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)

TITLE: Stuck in the Middle Without You
By Marsha Landers


A small seven year old girl with short brown hair and straight bangs across her forehead stood frozen in the middle of The Rock City swinging bridge. Her hands held the rope railing in such a tight grip that they had turned white. The bridge was swaying strongly as the cold early winter wind gave it a good shove. She was fixated on the rocks below. She tried to relax by pretending her granddad was pushing her in the swing as he did each Sunday. A sudden jumping on the end of the bridge quelled all hopes of becoming calm. The bridge seemed really precarious now. Should she continue on toward the jumping dad she expected to protect her or return to the start of the bridge where strangers waited? She was uncertain as to why her dad was scaring her instead of rescuing her.

As the girl aged she learned that life was like living on a bridge. Bridges connect one side to the other but you are vulnerable while exposed in the middle. Bridges hook and crook and fly off into the sky. They twist. They turn. Some have no barriers and some need repair. While making important life decisions you are in the middle, looking left and right and maybe even below. You forget to look up; leaving you immobile and ripe for attacks. There is no protection in the middle. You may become weary and fall from your bridge. The harsh, bitter winds may twist or hurl you. You need to locate your protection.

As the girl became a woman she found she needed direction in her life. She had always tried to be the perfect daughter, wife, mother, friend, and church member, but she failed in her quest for perfection. She was weary of struggle and never being all things to all people. She needed respite. She wanted God to direct her so she no longer had to think, but she had been unresponsive for so long. Would he even hear her now that she was ready for dialogue? Remembering bible stories, her prayer was that it was true that he would never leave her; that he was just waiting on her return. As she bowed to pray to the father who loved her and waited patiently for her to began moving toward him, she thought back to the day she was seven and on that swinging bridge.

That day, the little girl weighed her options. The strangers at the left end of the bridge looked safe, but were they really? She didn’t know and couldn’t know. She looked right at her screaming, jumping dad. She looked down and saw only the terrifying abyss there. She then did what she should have done first. She looked up. There was her answer in the fluffy white cloud; the cloud that held the face of God and the sound of his voice. He was telling her to have faith in her father. She took small steps at first which grew less tentative as she moved toward her dad’s open arms. As the arms enveloped her, she cried, “Oh, Daddy. Why were you scaring me? I thought I would fall.” Her dad replied, “Sweetie, I had been calling your name, trying to get you to come to me. You didn’t hear me because your focus was not on me. I was afraid I couldn’t reach you in time, so I began to bounce up and down so the movement would reach you and send you running to me for safety! I had to get your attention and my arms were stretched out, ready to protect you the moment we could touch.”

As she prayed, she expressed thankfulness that God taught many of his lessons through life stories. Now she understood. Life in general and fear in particular can steal your focus away from Jesus and make you deaf when he calls your name. When your bridge of life is swaying or bouncing maybe God is trying to get you to run to him. If you find yourself stuck in the middle of your bridge, don’t look left, right, or down. Look up. Only after God has given you direction can you confidently cross the bridge that gets you to where he wants you to be-- in his loving, protecting arms. As the woman crossed her bridge God reached out his hand to pull her close.

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This article has been read 463 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Racheal Chand08/07/08
Great job. You correlated the two fathers well. Your point was well made. Thank you for a good read.
Yvonne Blake 08/09/08
This is an interesting analogy. You 'painted' a vivid picture at the beginning. I was a bit confused as to who the strangers were, but I'm glad you explained about the father.
Well done.
Dan Blankenship 08/13/08
Excellent entry! Very well written and an enjoyable read.

May God bless.

Dan Blankenship

Dan Blankenship 08/13/08
Excellent entry! Very well written and an enjoyable read.

May God bless.

Dan Blankenship

Dan Blankenship 08/13/08

I have no idea why that went on twice.