Relationship: Being a Bridge of Love—Three Thoughts

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Before you read on, please take a moment to view this 41-second video:

As I watched this clip, my throat tightened at the act of pure love this young boy showed his little sister. He couldn’t lift her across the gap. He couldn’t hold her hand and pull her across. So, he laid down and became a human bridge for her. He wanted to be with her, he made a way.

How often do I reach beyond my comfort zone to become a human bridge for another? Am I willing to be inconvenienced, willing to step out of my agenda for the day to be a bridge to another?

Am I willing to treasure someone enough to wear their smudges when they step across me to find love?

I don’t always want to bridge a hurt with love. Sometimes, I’d rather let the relationship fade than to open up my heart . . . span the gap between me and another. And be stepped on.

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I have a couple relationships in my life that are the “stepping on” kind. These aren’t relationships I can walk away from. God has placed within me the conviction that I need to love them.

Regardless of if they ever love me in return.

Whether or not they appreciate the things I do to show them love.

ImageCan I be honest? I don’t always want to love those who hurt me. I’d rather cordon myself off from hurtful words and actions . . .

Leave the gap open between us.

Because sometimes, it just hurts too much.

In one relationship, I’ve failed at loving. Past hurts and present jabs bricked up a wall between me and the other person. Her words and actions have raised my insecurities, leaving me wondering if I’ll ever be enough in her eyes. It’s become easy to keep my heart locked away from her.

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I don’t know if we’ll ever be heart-to-heart close, but God’s nudging me to be a bridge for her. She doesn’t know Jesus. Maybe she’ll see Him in me and be drawn to Him if I act as a love-bridge for her.

As I’ve prayed about how to love this person better, I’m seeing three steps I need to take:

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  1. I need to trust God to heal these hurts, not expect her to acknowledge and apologize for them. I need to ask Him to soften my heart toward her. This requires humility and letting go of the past.
  2. I’m asking God to give me strength to stretch beyond my comfort zone and reach out to her. Right now, this is difficult, but this relationship isn’t going away.
  3. To love her well, I need to figure out what speaks love to her and do those things. I don’t see her often, but I can reach out through phone calls or letters.

Image I have a gift she doesn’t have: the love and acceptance of Jesus. This is what propels me to love her even when, in my own strength, I don’t want to.

She may never love me in return, but that’s okay. If I’m doing what Jesus asks of me, that is enough.

I’m loving Jesus by loving her.

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He’ll strengthen me to be a bridge—laying myself down and reaching out to her in love.

What about you? When have you been a bridge of love for someone? Does this idea sound crazy and unrealistic to you?

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10 thoughts on “Relationship: Being a Bridge of Love—Three Thoughts

  1. I think loving the unlovable is the hardest, craziest, and best thing to do. Yes, it’s very hard; but I often remind myself of Christ’s love and that I am unworthy of His love. Keeping my own unlovable-ness in mind definitely helps when dealing with difficult people.
    Thanks for this post!

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  2. What a powerful post. I think I’ve been a bridge occasionally, but I know one relationship that definitely could use some work. I know I’ll come back to this post to remind me how I should act.

    Thanks Jeanne!

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    • Thanks for stopping by, Jackie! I bet we’ve all got at least one relationship that is difficult. The good thing is, we can always change the way we relate with the other person. Thanks for your kind words!

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  3. You’re not loving Christ by doing this – you’re ‘putting on’ Christ in the most profound way.

    I don’t believe I’ve ever done this, and I don’t know if I could. I doubt it.

    There was one relationship where I suppose I tried, but eventually had to walk away. The fact that this person made an attempt to poison me (yes, really) did have something to do with it.

    Truly, you are responding to ‘the least of these’, Jeanne.

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    • Thanks for your words, Andrew. The thing I didn’t have space to include is where to draw boundaries. And there are relationships that need boundaries, as you’ve so clearly shown. Sometimes walking away is what must be done. Thanks for sharing this!

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  4. A needed read for me this morning. Thank you Jeanne. I believe I have a relationship as well that isn’t going away and the chasm they put between us can only be bridged by Jesus the one and only one to lie down and die to be a bridge for the both of us. For all of us really. Thanks again.

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  5. I read this yesterday and had to give myself time to ponder…again.

    My sister has soundly rejected my parents, myself, my husband, my kids, my brother, and his wife. In essence, the entire family. She only speaks to my dad when he calls her, or maybe once a year, she calls them if there is something of critical importance. She calls at 10am their time on Mother’s Day, exactly when my parents will be at church. Which she knows. It’s SO bad, my mom didn’t include my sister, or her kids, in their Christmas letter. My amazing mom is tired of pretending. Soooo very tired.

    I cannot abide that kind of disrespect. Purposeful disregard for one’s own family, on no grounds whatsoever…simply grounds of sand.
    Jayne is lost to us, and we have tried. I honestly would give her a kidney to save her life, but I doubt I’d speak to her before and after. Why? One needs to be spoken to in order to respond.

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    • Jennifer, some relationships are truly difficult beyond words. I’m sorry your sister has rejected you and your family. Some things truly do take a miracle to heal. Sending you a hug my friend.

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