A few days ago, my brothers and I drove across this bridge…all in the name of adventure of course. We were terrified; or at least, my youngest brother and I were terrified, my immediate younger had made the crossing before so he just laughed at us. It was not even our route, we just wanted to explore a new road that had opened up and anyway, the experience was worth it, however scary it was. When we made it across, I asked him to stop the car so I could take a picture of it for posterity.

There are many incidences in my life that I can liken to this bridge; situations which at the time were terrifying and painful but which only brought me to a better place in my life. I don’t think I’m the only one who has had to cross such bridges. Bridges like that seem impossible before or while you are crossing them; it is almost as though you are going to end up in the river, carried away by the currents. Many times, they constitute turning points in our lives. Yesterday was such a bridge for me; a really rickety bridge which I am not through crossing.

I went back to the Police Station to see about the two teenagers. This time around, both parents were around, I went in my capacity as a lawyer to the mission. The girls’ brother in law, who stood as her guardian was furious! Luckily I had cornered him before we went to the Police Station and talked some sense into him. I convinced him to not further hurt the kids and told him I wanted to get the boy released into my custody so that we could attempt to help him. The Police Officers told us that they were prepared to charge the boy with trespassing and abduction but they were hoping the girl’s guardians would drop charges. I let each person vent for a while before I waded in.

I had mentioned earlier that the boy was a dropout; he had been learning how to be a mechanic – apprenticed to an uncle. I asked him why he dropped out of school and he said it was because he could not understand and did not see the point in wasting his father’s money. He can read and write so I made him realize that the reason he did not understand at school was that no one had taught him to understand and not because he was stupid or dull. I gave him two options, either we went forward with the matter in which case, he would end up in a correctional institution or we dropped charges on the condition that he was released to my custody and he went back to school. At that time, I think he was willing to agree to anything; we did not really give him much choice.

I took him back to the mission base and asked a young man who was a member of staff to join me as I talked with the two of them. I asked him if he loved her and he said he did. I asked him if she had told him she loved him, he said she hadn’t. So I let him know she actually loved him…you should have seen the light in his eyes, it was so sweet, made me sigh internally of course. Anyway, I told them that love could never be wrong however, they needed to be a bit patient. They were neither of them ready to marry nor ready for the responsibility of an unwanted pregnancy so I told them to be friends for now but wait for a few years before they decided to embark on any kind of romantic relationship. Did I get through? Only God knows. Whatever the case, I am enrolling him in the nearby secondary school on Monday and he would spend his afternoons with me doing odd jobs and extra lessons. The highlight was that the young man led this boy in the sinners’ prayer and he gave his life to Christ, I’m not really sure he knew exactly what he was doing or what it entails because he did not grow up in a Christian home. Still I hope this would be a turning point in his life – hers too; their own bridge.

It was a bridge for me too. At the Police Station the words came to me clearly… for this you were created. It gave me a jolt. But at that point my life began to come together; to make a weird kind of sense. All of a sudden, some painful experiences I had gone through crystallized and I understood for if I had not gone through those experiences, I would not understand what those kids were going through. Still, it is a rickety bridge as I told my fiancĂ© on the phone last night…kids like that break people’s hearts. Am I making a mistake taking these children on? I want the love of Christ to flow through me to them. I guess I can only do as he advised me – my best.

5 thoughts on “bridges

  1. “for this you were created.”….Sharon, what a powerful experience. Sounds like the voice of my Lord to me.-

    You raised a hard question- “Am I making a mistake taking these children on?” – it is hard to care deeply and hold people loosely @ the same time..sounds a lot like parenting to me.

  2. I am always scared of caring too deeply yet I cannot seem to help myself. While I have been hurt repeatedly, I have to admit that the rewards have been worth the caring. My name “ife” means love (that’s yoruba)…I seem to have this compulsion to do just that. I have learned to ask God for wisdom these days

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