Tag Archives: relationships

Bridge or Barrier Builder?

This past week as I was driving in my car I listened to one of my favorite cds by Phillips, Craig and Dean.  It’s the live version and I got it from a friend a few years ago for a birthday gift. 

One of my favorite songs on the cd  is Build a Bridge of Love.  On the live version of the cd one of the artists tells the story of his grandfather being a bridge builder.  He said that his grandfather told him that the same materials to build bridges can be used to build barriers, it’s a choice of how you use the materials.

Yesterday morning on one of our coldest days of the year I was in town and took this picture of an old train bridge in Little Falls, Minnesota.  It has always been a favorite bridge of mine because of the architectural detail and its age.

Build a Bridge of Love by Phillips, Craig & Dean

Isn’t it crazy, we haven’t spoken in years
We were the closest friends
Where did we part, when did the love disappear
We thought it’d never end
Just a causeless separation
A turn in the road of life
But now we’re nothing more than strangers
Don’t you think that it’s time to

Let’s build a bridge of love together
One stone of hope at a time
Let’s span the sea that comes between us
So join your hand and heart with mine

The timing is right for our differences to cease
O Father make us one
Let’s join in the fight to love all humanity
Our time has just begaun
We can use these precious moments
To tear apart dividing walls
And with those stones of separation
Build a bridge for all
Every race and every nation
United and unique
We’re all just links in a chain of love
I need you, you need me

The past week I’ve had a lot of time to think about relationships.  I’ve been home sick with the flu.  Relationships are hard work.  It is much easier to build a barrier one piece at a time with each hurt or misunderstanding until the barrier is so large you cannot see over it or too long and can not walk around it. 

Each day I have to make an effort to make the choices that will create healthy relationships.  I’m not talking about becoming a doormat but keeping the lines of communication open even when I don’t agree with someone’s choices. My usual way to deal with conflict is to run the other way.  I just don’t like it and I don’t seek it out.   But that in itself can be a barrier between me and another. 

I don’t want to start building a barrier so that if in the future someone feels like talking about something they can still find me accessible instead of locked up in my castle with the drawbridge drawn up and the moat full of crocks.  Not a pretty picture but it can happen one piece at a time until we have secluded ourselves from the very people on this earth who were put here to enrich it.


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Cold Wine on the Vine

Yesterday morning as I was cleaning out from yet another snowstorm in Minnesota I saw the grape vines on the fence along the western edge of our property. 

All summer long I drove past the vines thinking how cool it would be to try making  some wine, juice or jam from the grapes on the fence.

Yesterday I realized that another summer and fall were gone and that I have thought about those grapes every year for the past five years.

I never went as far as actually picking some grapes to begin the process of making something out of them.  I never began the reading process as far how to make wine, juice, or jam out of wild grapes. 

The grapes left me feeling sad for all the things that I planned on doing this past year.  Seeing them still hanging on the vine and the apples still hanging on the trees at home combined for a feeling of loss.   

I started to think about what I have to show for my efforts in the past year.  Did I do anything noteworthy?  Did I deepen relationships with friends and family?  Did I grow in my job, learn something new or was this past year just like all the others?

This year has been different from others when I stopped to think about it.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and met new people.  I get up earlier every Wednesday morning and drive a half hour to another town to my new-found friends for bible study.  I challenged myself to get up earlier each morning and write.  The grapes may still be on the vine but not because I was plodding along doing the same old stuff but because I didn’t have time.  I choose to fill the time required for wine making with other things like writing and bible study.

So where does that leave me in the relationship department?  Lacking for sure.  This is where I  need some work.  I have taken my family for granted.  They are always here with my coming and going, living their lives.  We have spent very little time interacting. 

This past week I have tried to do better.  It’s not so hard picking up the phone to call my son who doesn’t live at home to say hi and how is your day or week going.  It doesn’t take that much time to call my daughter who is at college when I am in town to say “Would you like to go for lunch?”  After all I still need to eat lunch and sitting down to eat with my daughter at a table for lunch seems so much more civilized than a McDonald’s meal in my car on my way back to work.  I did call her this week for lunch but she was busy but at least I called.

Christmas is coming and it is always a stressful time.  Relationships are hard because the expectation levels are high.  This year I truly want to focus on some visiting with family that is above the usual exchange of pleasantries.  Perhaps choosing to get to know just one new thing about each person I spend time with this season.  That’s my goal and I’m sticking to it.


Posted by on December 12, 2010 in Family, Holidays, Reflections


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