Across the creek lives a family of gentleness and grace. Pain unto death has visited often yet their gentleness and graciousness have not wavered.
Across the state line lives a family whose home consists of multiple generations. The elementary school child plays in the next room to the 90-year-old matriarch. The couple who own the home are in their second marriage. Her first husband died in a collision with a drunk driver; her new bridegroom knows the taste of betrayal and infidelity. Yet their open door and availability always welcomes me.
Across the boundaries of faith lives a man who bears the responsibilities of fatherhood with vehement passion. A childhood spent in foster care filled him with the need for loyalty and commitment. A marriage ending with the embrace of religion filled him with the mistrust of a life of faith. A second marriage cut short by cancer and death filled him with fear and disdain for Love. Yet his silent respect for my beliefs and his kindness in communication with me continues throughout the years.
Across the divide flows words of graciousness and gentleness, availability and openness, kindness and respect. Individual convictions, choices and circumstances may define who we are but the gift of words bonds across the divide. In times of need, I am drawn to them. In times of celebration, I seek them. When I need to vent and to cry, I find them. When I am confused and need direction, I turn to them. The length of time I have known them varies; the depth of knowing them differs. Yet because of the bond created by graciousness and gentleness, availability and openness, kindness and respect, the divide is not an issue.
Across the divide, the gift of words is our bridge.