Monday, September 05, 2011

Bridging the Gap

I think I originally heard this story in a church when I was all of 12 years old or so. For whatever reason, it has stuck with me…

A minister was walking across a bridge one wintry night on his way home. Off to his right, in the shadows, he could just make out the image of a man who had climbed on the railing. Upon getting closer, he could see that the man was wearing a disturbed expression across his face and looked as though he might be thinking of jumping into the frigid sea awaiting quite some distance below.

The minister spoke to the man. “What are you doing, sir? Perhaps I can be of some help.”

The man spoke back. “I’m gonna jump! Don’t waste your time trying to stop me!”

The minister sighed and gathered his thoughts for a brief moment.

“Tell you what, good man. Don’t jump just yet. All I ask is ten minutes of your time. Just walk around the block with me and we’ll talk. If you still feel the same way when we get back here, I’ll not do a thing to stop you from jumping. Do we have a deal?”

The man silently climbed down from the railing and looked the minister in the eye. “Alright. I’ll give you ten minutes. Let’s go."

So, the two of them walked around the block and spoke with one another. Ten minutes later, they arrived back at the bridge and both jumped off.