“Then let me build a bridge, for I cannot fill the chasm…” —Sting
The problem with the whole “bridge” thing, referring to Jesus as a bridge between us and God, is that His intention was never to be merely a “bridge.” He came to “fill the chasm.”
A bridge is an external “fix.” A bridge is temporary. A bridge is a “thing” which is built to serve a purpose. We have, for far too long, been satisfied with looking at the existence and work of Jesus as something like this – as some fix – something which was built, upon which, if we walk just right, we will get to the other side – the same us who started the journey from side A, mind you, arriving safely on side B.
This way of looking at the whole notion of Christianity is deeply unfortunate.
It tends to leave everything on the outside of the door. At its root, it is an external solution to an internal problem.
If we get our passport stamped, we’ll get across the bridge. If we know the password, we’ll get across the bridge. If we walk properly from one side to the other, we’ll get across the bridge.
If the low places are filled, we can walk like real human beings, naturally, across the land we were meant to walk upon, into “places” where we were created to walk. A bridge is a mechanism laid on top of something. It’s the something that needs to be fixed. It’s the something, the everything, that He came to repair. And we’re part of the everything.
As the chasm is filled, as the broken ground is repaired, we are more and more able to walk freely from one place to another. In fact, it’s better to actually say it like this: The sides, the places which were once two, are being made one again. That includes our “insides” being brought into union with Him again, with His Reality.
327 words won’t quite cut fully explaining this, but it’s a start. Stop thinking bridge and start trying to grasp the chasm being filled, being repaired, being recreated.
It’s funny – in some ways my life is more peaceful now. I was telling someone the other day, that it’s an amazing feeling to come home after work… and have nothing else to do, not really. No other job. No one pushing, pushing, pushing me. No real deadlines. Sure, every now and then someone orders a rosary and I have to make that for them and send it off. I enjoy that. It doesn’t feel like “work.” Rarely, someone will ask me to tie them some flies, for money, and I do that. I wouldn’t like to do that constantly, all the time, but it’s not a big deal to tie a few flies for some lunch money. And of course, there are just normal things around the house. It’s an interesting change of pace.
Our “kids” are all older than 18 now. There’s still a little bit of “taxi driving” going on, but not much. They all go their own way. That’s good, I guess. Their own way is not always the way I would choose for them, nor is it always something I think is right or good for them, but they’re OK. I worry, as you do, and I hope they’ll learn, or re-learn, some of what I’ve taught them. We shall see.
At this point, I almost never “go to church,” or “mass” or whatever you like to call the going-to of religious services. I feel mostly fine about that. There are reasons for this choice. I’ll not go into all that right now. I’ve not turned heathen, or pagan, or anything else. I still pray and try to maintain a relationship with God. Maybe I’m in the desert for a while. I’m not really sure. I have my issues with things, for sure, but I’m not sittin’ around swinging my fists in the air. Not sure how long this season will last. For now, though, I tend to look at it as, ironically enough, a sabbath.
I fish. I fish, relatively, a lot. In the past, I’ve done little fish counters on my blog, trying to keep track of how many fish I catch during the year. This year, I’ve lost track. It’s in the hundreds – probably 300+ at this point – conservative estimate. That’s a good thing for me. I’ve gone through seasons where I’ve had to basically “fast” from that as well. Now, it’s feasting for sure on the fishing front. Mostly bass so far. I’m way behind on some trout fishing – must do more of that soon. And carp – yes carp – is moving right in.
Funny times. Interesting times. Sort of peaceful times. Enough talking about that for now. Peace to you.
…for me right now. Every time I think of something to say, the flood comes – a flash flood of understanding about how what I will say, will affect others, and possibly myself. That may only be longhand for, “I’m pretty afraid to say what I really think for fear of the results.” It may be partly that.
Part of that is “what people think of me,” but only part. I care about that. Don’t you? I wonder about you if you truly don’t.
Fear – fear is part of it. I fear reprisal. I fear negative words thrown at me. I fear interpersonal conflict. I fear ecclesiastical consequences. As much as I’d like to say I’m past that last one, I know that I’m really not. Unfortunate. Fear is a very familiar companion of mine.
I don’t want to hurt others. I don’t want to say something that will act (and sometimes inevitably our words do) as a weapon toward someone, or any group of people. I can be vague and clever, yes, but I’m also smart enough to realize that as vague and clever as you may be, people still get it when it’s about them.
I want, sometimes still, to say large things, to a large audience. Well, to a small, large audience, if that makes any sense at all. Some idea about myself, though, says that I am no longer qualified to do that – that I have somehow given up my voice. I hope that’s not true.
So, hopefully, I can learn how to be slowly more courageous. Little by little, perhaps I can begin to speak again, to say what is being spoken inside me, to forgo the companionship with fear… slowly… hopefully.