Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)
TITLE: In The Wilderness
By Stacy Jamison
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After a long time reasoning with one another, we decided one man had the most experience swimming. After praying for protection, we sent him across the river, swimming to the other side. His wife had long beautiful hair she often wore in braids. Therefore, she was excellent at braiding and used her talent to make rope to go around her husband’s waist. As he swam, the current in the river got stronger and stronger. It took all of his strength to get to the other side. Exhausted, he collapsed once he reached the other shore. It was almost too much for him to make it to the other side.
The next man, also a good swimmer, took off into the water with a rope around his waist. The river current was fierce and he was not as strong as the first man. He fought to keep course, but began to trail down stream. If it we had not held the rope, he would have been lost. He walked back up the shoreline, disappointed and discouraged.
We all ran to greet him and see if he was okay. Nothing but his pride hurt, so we prodded him to try again. Our encouragement worked, and after much thinking, he came up with an idea. He decided to hang on the rope the first man carried across. That way, if he became too tired, or the current got too strong, he could be anchored. It would be almost impossible to be pushed off course. So he secured the rope around his waist and set out again.
It took tremendous effort and focus, but he made it across. He collapsed in the sand next to his victorious friend, who recovered from his exhaustion and was sitting up, cheering others on. The remainder of us tied the ropes to the trees on our side of the river. The victorious travelers tied the ropes on their side. All the while, the first man’s wife kept making rope. She worked feverishly and her fingers were getting sore, so others helped her and made rope as fast as used it.
Some of us were natural ‘doers’ and enjoyed the physical work of tying the knots and strengthening the design. Others were full of ideas to make thing better or easier. We toiled for hours, nonstop to get everyone across safely.
Once we tied all the ropes, there was a moment of anxiety. We wondered if our idea would really work. The smallest one, but also the bravest, volunteered to cross on our contraption first. Because it was made entirely of rope, it twisted and turned as she made her way across the water. She had to balance to keep the rope from flipping her into the water. Although brave, she never learned to swim. If she fell in the water, she might perish for sure. Our hearts pounded and throbbed with fear as she crossed.
At the middle of the ropes, she lost her footing. The very thing we feared happened! She was in the water. But in her calamity, she clung to the ropes for dear life, then pulled herself to shore without harm. She was wet when she got there, but safe.
Everyone realized they must be careful; one by one, we each crossed to the other side. Cheering for each traveler, we welcomed each other until each landed safely on the other side. At my turn I feared I would fall, be swept up and carried off. But I made it too. I was relieved to be on the other side.
We all stood on the shore of the river, admiring our work. Smiling with pride, we congratulated one another and thanked God we made it across safely. The enormity of our gift was beyond what we expected or dreamed when we began our endeavor. We all stood in awe and watched as another reason for our toils manifested right before our eyes.
A single silhouette, stepped on to our contraption. We held our breath in unison; hoping he would cross safely and not fall to peril. A single focus of a band of believers, we each prayed he would make it across. And when he did, we found he was a sinner. He had just crossed our bridge and thanked God.
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