The Healing Bridge

3 09 2013

There are two lessons in life I’ve heard since I was young, the first is parents will do Imageeverything possible to see that their children do not repeat the same mistakes they did; and the second, more than likely they’re going to end up doing it anyway.  So it was in the case of Patricia and her daughter Mary.

Patricia was a fine woman who worked hard to raise her girl and make a living to support them. As a young woman, she excelled academically in school so well that upon finishing high-school, Pat was awarded a scholarship to a state university.  During her freshman year in college, she met an upper classman who swept her off her feet. That 1st year would be all the farther she would achieve in higher education; Patricia became pregnant and left school forever. The white knight didn’t meet with the news that he was going to be a father with the best attitude he could have.  All he saw were his plans for a future being ruined and he let Patricia know it was all her fault.  Still, he did the “noble” thing and married Pat. Leaving school, he took up a job that paid well but it still didn’t curb his temper and attitude toward his newly made family.  He was constantly berating Patricia as if she was not good enough and that he did a favor by marrying her. Mary, I guess you could say, was spared any ridicule from her father, seeing he seldom even acknowledged her existence.  This went on for several years until one day he announced he was leaving to be with the true love of his life.  (I don’t want to spend to much time on this sorry you know what, but just an update; that true love didn’t last as long as he and Pat, nor did the one after that.)  

Patricia and Mary moved in with her parents until they could get on their feet and get a place of their own.  Unfortunately this wasn’t met with the greatest of support by her parents, they were older and weren’t ready to have anyone, especially a rambunctious toddler, move in on them.  It caused for some tense moments, but everyone made the best of it until Pat finally landed a decent job and she and Mary were able to live on their own. After nearly ten years, Pat and Mary had stability in life; they had a home, car, way of life but most of all, they had each other.  And that was good enough for Pat.

As Mary grew, the two of them became closer, doing many things not only a mother and daughter would do, but also what two friends would do together–shopping, travel, even concerts.  When Mary became a teenager, they would laugh, tell stories to each other and treat the other as if they were more than mother and daughter, but best friends. They were admired and even envied by others because of the closeness they shared. Life was good for Pat and Mary and it appeared nothing could damage what they had between them.  But somewhere around Mary’s junior year, she began to change.  She no longer wanted to hang out with her mom the most; she had made a new circle of friends whose company she preferred.  Pat, being a realist, knew this moment would sooner or later come; all kids go through a phase where they wish to spread their wings without mom or dad along for the ride.  Sure, she could accept the new friends in Mary’s life, but what she was having the hardest time with is that Mary seldom talked to her like she once did; she seemed secretive in what she was doing and would even become angry if Patricia pried too hard.  It was a hard pill for Pat to swallow, but swallow she did and gave Mary all the freedom she wanted; until one day.  Mary announced to her mom she was quitting school to move in with her boyfriend who was in his mid 20s.  Now the last straw had been added and the battle lines were drawn.  “Mary, you are 17 and there is no way I’m going to allow you throw your life away like this!”  Mary’s response?  “It’s my life and you have no right interfering!”  Pat shot back, “As long as you’re under my care and my rules, I do have that right, stop being so STUPID and wake up to what you’re doing!”

That would be the last they would talk for a long time.  Mary would stay gone as often as she could, avoiding her mother until her 18th birthday.  Pat came home to find the note from Mary stating now that she was 18; she had quit school and moved into an apartment with her boyfriend.  “I’ll contact you later,” is how the note ended.  Pat took the note, threw it in the trash and said out loud, “Don’t bother.”  When Mary came back to retrieve the rest of her belongings, she found the locks had been changed.  She tried to call her mom at work, but as soon as Pat heard her voice she hung up the phone. The wedge had fallen heavily between the two and now Pat was making it clear Mary chose the direction she wanted to go, so now she was on her own.  The next year would be a hard one on Patricia, but she was determined not to let people know unhappy she was and how much she missed her precious daughter.  Then came the word through a friend, Mary gave birth to a baby boy.  She had gotten pregnant before she left her mom’s home, but kept it a secret.  This news made Pat even more angry.  How could she allow such a thing to happen and not ever tell her?  That was it, if this is how Mary wanted to live her life, knowing everything her mom went through, fine; she was done with her.

Mary did make attempts for her mother to see the baby, but Pat refused.  Mary made a decision without the advice of her mother and now she just lived her life anyway she wanted.  A couple of friends did what they could to let Pat know how Mary was getting along whether she wanted to hear it or not.  Then came the news that the boyfriend, just like Mary’s husband, decided he didn’t want to be weighed down with a family and he took off without a word.  Mary and her baby son went to live at a shelter for unwed mothers.  Again her friend admonished Pat, “You’ve got to go see Mary and your grandson; they need you!”  “I don’t know,” Pat answered.  “We’ve both said a lot of terrible things, I’m not sure it would do any good.”  Pat then realized she didn’t even know the baby’s name.  “His name is James,” her friend told her.  “James!”  That had been the name of Patricia’s brother who died at the age of two and who she told Mary about many times.  She named her son James.  

Pat didn’t know what she was getting into, but finally relenting she made her way to the shelter.  There a staff member immediately took her to Mary and James’ room.  Their eyes met, but there wasn’t much talk at first. James, who now was 6 months old was playing on the floor.  “Mom, would you watch James while I go to the bathroom please, I’ll only be a minute.”  Patricia now found herself alone, looking down on the little tyke as he looked up at her.  There was still anger and sadness in Pat’s heart and she felt incredibly distant from her only daughter, but then in happened, the bridge, the healing bridge that had been so long in coming was now there waiting for her to cross.  It came in the form of two little arms thrusting straight up toward Pat to have her pick him up. Choking back tears, Grandma Pat gently knelt down and lifted little James into her arms where he then put his head against her shoulder.  Mary reentered the room to see the picture of the two of them together and that’s all it took.  In a rush, Mary ran across to join them, tears flowing uncontrollably from both women.  James, not understanding what was happening decided to join in on the wailing, which made both gals break into laughter.  After a thousand sorrys from both of them and that many I love you’s, the two sat and talked for an hour mostly about the beautiful blond haired, blue-eyed bundle of energy sitting on grandma’s lap.  There was no need to hash out words and decisions that had caused the split, they weren’t even a thought.  The healing bridge had covered them. It’s been said; Forgiveness is the remission of sins.  For it is by this that what has been lost, and was found, is saved from being lost again.  When Pat and Mary got past the problem that separated them, healing began.  It came in the form of a child.

When man turned his back on God, there was the need for healing, a Healing Bridge to reconnect us with God the Father who loves us so much He wanted our sins covered, that came in the form of a Child also; Jesus.  (John 3, it won’t take you long, read it.)

There are many of us “Travelers of the Rock Road” that carry a heavier burden than we need to.  That burden just may be unforgiveness.  Maybe by uttering a few precious words like, “I was wrong, I’m sorry” that heavy burden will be lifted.  In a relationship with the Creator of the stars, the Creator of you and me, it’s the same burden.  And all you have to do is say “I was wrong, I’m sorry, Jesus, be that Healing Bridge in my life.” Ask Pat and Mary, they’ll tell you how great it is having not one but two Healing Bridges, one for now, and one for eternity, Awesome!!!


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