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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)

TITLE: Bridge of Faces
By LauraLee Shaw


It’s not your ordinary bridge. This one isn’t made of stone or wood or even popsicle sticks. Stretching across the walls of my heart is a bridge of faces—a collage of all the people who have stood in the gap for me through the low times of my life.

Sunday School Teacher, you thought you were only teaching me the Who Did Swallow Jonah song. Sure, I remember, “Whale did swallow Jonah.” (Though as an adult I’ve learned that it was actually a big fish instead). Do you know when you really captured my heart? It was the Sunday that you told me I was smart. Up until then, I thought I was stupid. At least that’s what my dad always told me.

There you were, leaning over me with a smile, showing me a pathway from the island of Nothingness to the solid ground of Somethingness. At every turn, you reminded me that my life had promise and potentiality. You were a bridge of hope for me, Sunday School Teacher.

I’ll never forget the sermon on being a living sacrifice at church camp. The chaplain didn’t know that I already was one. I was stuck in the sinking ground of self-sacrifice, the kind that others trampled on like a doormat. Perplexed, I didn’t dare speak up, but Camp Counselor, you saw right through me. While other ministry leaders were focused on curfews and clean cabin competitions, you cared most about de-cluttering my heart’s confusion.

Shedding light in the darkness, you paved the way from the island of Codependency to the solid ground of Freedom. Camp Counselor, you were a bridge of truth for me.

Oh, Pastor’s Wife, if you only knew. While your husband spoke messages on people using their gifts for the glory of God, you—YOU were the one who tapped me on the shoulder and actually begged me to use my own. “Who, Me?” I asked. Until that moment, I honestly thought the Pastor was preaching to someone else…maybe the choir.

Looking me straight in the eye with a persuasive sparkle, you told me that I had a gift, and I must use it to help the younger kids who “looked up to me.” The younger kids look up to ME? I hope you know, Pastor’s Wife, that you helped me cross the ocean from the island of “Who, Me?” to the solid ground of “Yes, YOU!” You were a bridge of confidence for me.

And Mentor, would it hurt your feelings if I admitted that I can’t remember your name? I have a feeling that being known was never important to you. Even as a busy mom of three, you took the time to reach out to me in my single college days. I just want you to know, precious woman, that while I was struggling—desperately fighting between the still voice of Truth and the mocking voice of lies—you were there, praying the Word of God in my ear. You reminded me to wait on the Lord, that His timing was best and that the way of purity would not return to me empty or void.

So thank you, Mentor. Though I limped over it, you were a walkway from the island of Passion to the solid ground of Purity. You were a bridge of holiness for me.

As my memory reflects on this hodge-podge of faces, (and there are many more), I pray that my face is etched on the collage of someone else’s heart. May I help a child to feel smart and significant, a youth to see his potential, a teen to know she is known, or a younger woman to sense my concern for her purity and value as a daughter of the King. If I allow God, how will He use me to bridge the gap for someone stuck in a mud puddle of lies?

It’s definitely not your ordinary bridge. Not only is it made up of people, but also…when I see the frame upon which they are standing, it is the most extraordinary image of all: the nail-pierced hands of Jesus—extended—marking a narrow path from Sin to Everlasting Life. He has been the One holding the bridge together all along, moving in the hearts of His people to lead the way.

“And I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will guide you with knowledge and understanding.”
Jeremiah 3:15 (NLT)

“…And in Him all things hold together.”
Colossians 1:17b (NIV)

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This article has been read 1178 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 08/07/08
What a wonderful tribute to those who are often forgotten by men, but never by God. Well done.
Holly Westefeld08/08/08
I have had many such faces in my journey of faith, and also desire to be a face in others' bridges. Thank you for the reminder to be one.
Joanne Sher 08/09/08
Masterfully constructed and an incredible message and tribute. Loved this.
Pat Guy 08/11/08
Laura, it doesn't help me one bit that you are sitting right in front of me. :) I loved this POV and the beauty of its truth as well as the beauty of the writing.
william price08/11/08
Extremely creative and expertly presented. And reading ur work made me feel good. Great job. God bless.
Joy Faire Stewart08/11/08
This deeply touched me, and made me reflect back to the faces that made a difference in my life. Wonderful message!
Betty Castleberry08/11/08
So creative, and something we should all think about it. I *really* liked this.
Shirley McClay 08/11/08
Wow ... super creative and beautifully written . I love how you specifically shared... they were a bridge of truth, of hope, etc. Excellent.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/11/08
This is definitely a favorite of mine this week. What a wonderful picture you've painted of those who were a bridge to you, as well as your desire to be a bridge to others. You are, dear Girl!
T. F. Chezum08/11/08
Very nicely written and touching. Reading this reminded of the people in my past ... thank you.
Mariane Holbrook 08/11/08
Laura, you're so good! And this was so wonderfully written and such a tribute to those whose lives affected us. A great piece and a definite winner! Trust me! Kudos, dearheart.
Joshua Janoski08/12/08
Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. What a wonderful tribute to those unsung heroes in your life who helped shape you into the person you are today.

You are such a sweet person, and I have no doubt that all of these individuals contributed to that sweet and gentle spirit of yours.

I hope this places high this week.
Yvonne Blake 08/12/08
Beautiful! It's like collage of photos, each with their own story. If you're like me, 750 words is not near enough to name them all.
Beckie Stewart08/13/08
Wow! This is great. I am thankful for all those same kind of faces in my life that made a difference to this young lost 16 year old who could have a chance at not repeating her homelife because of Jesus.
Lyn Churchyard08/13/08
If this doesn't place I'll be surprised. You have captured forever a cast of those who listened to the Lord and reached out. Beautiful, just beautiful.
Marlene Austin08/14/08
Your writing can't help but touch us since these faces are all a part of the body of Christ. A tenderly written personal narrative. Thank you. :)
Dee Yoder 08/14/08
Wow-beautiful rendition of the people in our lives who have shown the Lord's love and care to us through their own actions. Very well written! Love it.
Betsy Markman08/14/08
Beautifully done!
Peter Stone08/20/08
Moving and unique take on the topic my friend, and a lovely tribute to those whom the Lord used to guide you onto bridges that spanned life's obstacles.
Helen Dowd08/25/08
Excellent! Excellent! Your "Bridge of Faces" left me thinking, "Wish I had written that!" It sums up the story of my early life. I thought I was good for nothing, had no talents. But I found out later that I did have a few, and have used them for God's glory, as you have. This was just such a wonderful entry on Bridges. I don't know why you didn't win first. But you did, in many people's eyes, according to the comments you have received. Well deserved...God bless you...Helen
Tim Pickl10/25/08
Thank you LauraLee for being a bridge to so many souls out there--letting God's light shine through your writing. God bless you in all you do, every day for Him!