Crossing the Bridge



I’ll always remember meeting my future father-in-law. My boyfriend’s folks had arrived on our college campus, ostensibly to drop off some much-needed items, but I suspected they wanted to see the young woman their son seemed to love.

I knocked on my boyfriend’s dorm room door and as I entered I could smell the bacon his mom was frying on the small stove. His dad stood as I entered—he’d been reading his Bible at a nearby table.

Small talk about college life carried us through breakfast, but when mom and son left to get some boxes out of the car, I remained behind to talk with his dad. What I didn’t realize then, is that my boyfriend’s father cared more about my future than I did.





And by future, it wasn’t about my anticipated career, or even my relationship with his son. This was about my eternal future. Never before had anyone talked about eternity like he did. Not even my pastor.

He pulled out a small notepad and drew a diagram of two hills. One hill represented where I was living now. He pointed to the other hill and said that’s where we all want to live eventually.  But we can’t get there from here—pointing to where I stood on the hill.


Then he drew a bridge between the two hills. In his soft-spoken way, he illustrated how I could get to the other side. It wasn’t complicated; it was just a willingness to ask Jesus to help me cross over.

He went on to say that Jesus not only gets us to the other side, he helps us every day right where we are. I’d never heard the Gospel explained as simply or as effectively.

I’ve thought about that conversation a lot lately. My ninety-year-old father-in-law is getting weaker by the day, and as I recall those two hills he once drew for me, I know that he'll soon be crossing the bridge to the other side. While I know I’m going to miss him, I know where he will be.

He lived a life of service and sacrifice—having such empathy for those who needed hope. I don’t know how many times he pulled out a small notepad, drew two hills and explained about Jesus, but I am certain that when my amazing father-in-law gets to the other side, Jesus will be there to welcome him home.




He'll leave behind a legacy of love, and deep, faithful footprints I hope to follow.

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