Building bridges

A reflection from Rich Dixon which about facing fears.


Jesus left His place, and came to our place.
Then He took our place, so we could go to His place.

Dick Foth

+ + +

In many traditions, week 2 of Advent is about PEACE.

Reflecting on PEACE took me to my fascination with cycling across unique bridges. When I’m alone, I like to stop and appreciate the view.

Today I’m thinking about peacemaking, about the bridges I’ve built for others that I’m unwilling to cross.

+ + +

Much of our hyper-polarized culture has divided itself into factions shouting ideological rhetoric at one another from the fortified banks of a monster-filled moat. We’re badly in need of bridges.

We expend so much effort constructing big, fancy bridges. Then we just sit and stare across in fear and anger. Our “bridge” becomes just another kind of barrier.

If I’m honest, most of what I call “bridge-building” really consists of insisting that others make the first move. I want them to face their fear and join me, on my side, behind my wall.

+ + +

Jesus offers a different model. He crossed a divide I couldn’t possibly have crossed on my own. He made the first move and said, “Follow Me.” I’m asked to be a peacemaker. My words and actions ought to lead toward reconciliation.

I can’t do any of that from the safety of “my side.” I must be willing to step out of my comfort zone and confront my own fear. Crossing the bridge involves faith and sacrifice. I must make the first move.

I have to care more about the people over there than about my fear of the monsters.

I have to care more about reconciliation than about defending my position.

I have to care more about getting it right than about being right.


This is some background for today’s reflection in Giving a Year Meaning: A Healing Journal for Advent 2020. Learn more at