Be A Bridge Builder

I have a favorite bridge.

(Is that strange? To have a favorite bridge? People have favorite sweaters, favorite books, and favorite foods. But do they have favorite bridges? Ha! Well, I do.)

I love the Waterloo Bridge in London, England. I was able to learn a bit about the bridge's history while touring London, and it quickly became one of the neatest structures I've ever seen! It was the first (and the longest) of three bridges built on the Thames River. It was originally built in 1811, but was later closed in 1923 because it was considered unsafe to cross.

It wasn't until 1939 when work began to rebuild the bridge.


The Waterloo Bridge is often referred to as "The Ladies Bridge." Work on the bridge was soon delayed (and then ultimately halted altogether) by WWII; very few men were available to work on it's reformation. (As we know from that time in history, the majority of the men were called to fight in the war.) Eventually, construction resumed. Why? Because most of the workforce was made up of women. WOMEN built the Waterloo Bridge.

Isn't that fantastic?!

Friends, figuratively speaking of course, aren't we all bridge builders?

My trusty Webster Dictionary (in all it's print-form glory, because I'm old school like that!) defines bridge as, "a structure spanning a gap, a connection."


Now I know we aren't swinging hammers or cutting stone or using heavy machinery or risking our lives to build literal bridges, but the bridges, or connections we are building are--in fact--just as necessary and important. 

We build bridges to our schools when we serve on the PTA, volunteer as room parents, or help stock the teacher supply cupboard! We build bridges to our communities when we help the new neighbors move in, when we pick up litter, when we vote. We build bridges to our children and in our homes when we wipe tears, prepare a meal, kiss boo-boos, and help with homework. I believe we are building a bridge to God when we kneel to Him and seek His counsel, when we strive to do good and live right.

And we are building bridges to each other. Woman to woman. Sister to sister.

Are you making it a priority to truly and sincerely strive to love the women around you? 
Because the fact is, women need women. (Yes, I say this ALL. THE. TIME. But it's true! We do!) We naturally seek support, companionship, and friendship.

Dr. Hilda Ruch, in her book, “Women Create,” so beautifully writes, "Friends play an important role in our sense of well-being and have a positive impact on life. We rely on a friend as someone who cares and who will affirm and support us. Friendships shape and influence who we are and who we might become. They soothe our inner worlds, offer solace, and nourish emotional growth." Our friends are the ones who buoy us up when life's sea gets choppy. They offer advice without judgement, comfort without recompense, and love without limits. They bring a great deal of joy into our hearts.

Build bridges of friendship to each other. Woman to woman. Sister to sister.

I'm tremendously proud of my British sisters, for their sweat that mixed with mortar, for their blood that made a pathway across the water possible. They were the brave women who were alive long before my feet touched the earth, who worked hard and probably prayed harder in a world that was sinking into chaos, disconnect, and hate.

And I'm tremendously proud of my sisters who are "building bridges" now. They are befriending the friendless. They are serving the less fortunate and are loving the unlovable. They find the one who feels left out, the one who feels lonely, the one who feels different, to extend to them a hand of compassion. I believe it is a sacred privilege and our responsibility, to build bridges and close gaps. When we seek to connect with our fellow man, we, in essence, connect with the divine.

We build a bridge to heaven.


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