May 9, 2022
“When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown!” ~ Isaiah 43:2 TLB
Earlier last week, Rod asked how I wanted to celebrate Mothers’ Day. I’m done with overcrowded Mothers’ Day brunches at restaurants, so I requested lunch at the Muse Vineyard following Sunday worship. A table was reserved, and the plans were set. That is until we got notice that due to two days of torrential rainfall the North Fork of the Shenandoah River was predicted to be over the bridge. They promised to be open, but with a limited menu and staff since no one could get there by car. The only way to get there would be to hike over the swinging bridge.
I’m not one to pass up an adventure so following worship, we changed from church clothes to hiking gear and set out from home for the vineyard. The vehicular bridge was completely submerged, but we were high and dry and safe walking over the swinging bridge. There was a warm fire going in the tasting room fireplace, only 5 other patrons when we arrived, and we enjoyed a quiet lunch with lots of time to reflect.
In so many ways, we are in a good place in life. Rod enjoys his coaching and consulting work in his retirement. I find pastoral ministry in this difficult time to be rewarding. We live in a great community and are within 100 miles of both of our children and our grandchildren. But at the same time, I’m still grieving the death of my sister, and leaning into the new reality of being the last remaining member of my family.
The walk over the bridge reminded me of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water. “When your weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all. I’m on your side. Oh, when times get rough, and friends just can’t be found. Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down.”
Those are gospel words to me, Isaiah 43:6 words of promise and hope. “When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown!” Amidst the grief and challenges, God has been like that swinging bridge, and faith like walking on the bridge. Each time I step onto that bridge, and it starts moving up and down to my steps and to the steps of others I need to take a deep breath before I step out in faith.
Like a bridge over troubled water, you, God, ease my mind. ~ Anne