It is impossible to live in Pittsburgh and not have to cross a bridge. All of those years of crossing bridges became the foundation for my life’s work. I was put into the world to be a bridge. Bridgework is complicated, intense, and never-ending. Yet bridgework is healing work, spiritual work.
Bridgework was made for the season of Advent. If we do not have the courage to be bridges any other time of the year, Advent seems to bring forth the bridgeworker in many of us. We make phone calls that clear paths for lost relationships. We cook for and feed one another. We forgive ourselves. We keep promises. We see the other more fully, more clearly.
The Shona people of Zimbabwe often greet each other in this matter:
“How are you?”
“I am here if you are here.”
“I am here.”
“Then I am here.”
This is the greeting for building bridges. If you are not fully here, a part of me, too, is absent, missing. Bridgework nudges us into completeness.
This message is excerpted from “Advent bridgework” by Venice Williams in the December 2015 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, 397.
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