What it means to ‘be a bridge’

Our world is looking deeply in the mirror right now. A process that will and has taken generations to undergo. We are far from the brass ring of world peace. But how do we get from point A to point B?

My daughter and I have talked a lot about what it means to “be a bridge” for others who are struggling with change. I can tell you, it’s always difficult. Standing astride two separate shores and holding up all who cross. The weight of sojourners traveling from one land to another, confused, tired, hungry. The dirt of the road clinging to them. Perhaps they don’t know the language. Perhaps they are afraid. I wonder if the bridge becomes as weary as the travelers who cross it. Perhaps yes. But for very different reasons.

Perhaps those of us who have embraced this new age in our world history rather than fear it could make a deliberate choice to help those across who are having a hard time. Because there are many of us standing on a brand new shore now. In hope, we built a foundation along the old shoreline before we left. The water we have crossed has been choppy, to say the least. But we have made it to the other side. Drenched, but alive. We can lay the foundations of a bridge over here also and build our way back across to the one we made before leaving. Bridging the gap between. We can help guide the others over.

We can be of service to this new age. In fact, we must. We understand that there is now a more loving countenance which has swept the earth, terrifying those who held power under different rules, in darker corners of our society now held to the light by things like cell phone cameras and the power of the internet. It’s easy to see why there is so much outrage. Very few people enjoy the process of being suddenly woken up. They resist to remain asleep. It seems like he could just keep hitting the snooze button forever, but eventually we have to wake up.

How we respond to their resistance is everything. It also reveals the flaw in our thinking regarding how to approach those who are afraid of our new age. We should not think of things in terms of resistance. That’s exactly what they’re doing. They are the ones resisting us, resisting the new energy, the new world. A new world that’s already here, whether they like it or not. What good does it do for us to resist them resisting us?

Let’s build more bridges. Resistance is about building more walls. Let’s carve out new pathways. New canals in the earth to help those more get here more easily than we did. That’s always been the job of a bridge builder, or a teacher, a minister, a healer. These are the archetypes who help people go from one side of the river to the other. These are the ones who can say, “I’ve been where you are and I will show you how to get here.” These are the bridges.

There are those of us still in darkness. Some are in a darkness of their own making and they pull others into the dark along with them. Close your eyes for a moment and picture them there. Nothing but blinking eyes in the dark. Afraid, attacking, conspiring together to enclose their fear in an illusion of safety which is impossible to achieve, but still their fear compels them to try. Pray for them right now. Pray with me that their hearts be eased, that the peace of Spirit settle into them, softening them. Revealing the illusion, the lies, the fear for what it truly is. Pray that the truth sets them free. Be for them a spiritual and emotional bridge to a land they may still fear, but which will ultimately soothe their anxiety. May they find welcome here on these new shores.

Wil Darcangelo, M.Div, is a Unitarian Universalist minister at the First Parish of Fitchburg and the First Church of Lancaster. Email Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok @wildarcangelo. His blog, Hopeful Thinking, can be found at

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