Building walls. Building bridges. These acts happen all the time. Everyday in our hustling and bustling in and through these minutes and hours of our lives, we are so often spending our energy and time building one or the other. Intentionally and unintentionally. Through our actions and our words, we create space for folks, ideas, practices to come closer and cross over toward them or we build walls to keep others out.
It's funny how each act starts with the same motion. Whether we are building a wall or a bridge, we start by leaning over and picking up a stone or brick. Each task starts with the bending over and beginning. What happens next makes all the difference.
As 2016 begins, we are mindful again of our opportunity for starting again, starting over. What was was. What is is. And it's up to us. It's up to you and me. The time couldn't be more important than it is now. The need for being mindful, intentional, thoughtful has never been greater. With all our technology, we seem to only be propelling ourselves faster through our days, our lives. With instantaneous news, we barely have time to react, rarely time to absorb, rarely time to let our hearts catch up.
Walls. Bridges. Bridges. Walls. We do both all the time, and experience them as well – and our lives follow our intentions. Throughout our lives we are wall-builders as well as bridge-builders. When our intentions are about bridge-building, then we our looking out, looking toward, looking one another in the eye. When our intentions are about building walls, our end goal is separation. When we become focused on how strong and how high our walls are built, our lives follow suit. When we wonder and imagine "how can I get from here to there?" then our path is set before us. Then we are moving toward, beyond ourselves.
May 2016 be a time for more bridges for all of us. May it be a time when we look toward one another more. May our first intention be to meet one another halfway, or more than halfway. It comes down to that - you and me - and our first action.
Working in Family Experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A Candler School of Theology graduate, Lesley has just published her second book, Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon for 29 Days (available on this website). She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan and Sam in Decatur, GA.