I’ve always worked hard not to burn bridges in my ministry and leadership. It’s not necessarily that I think I will want to cross those bridges again in the future. There are some bridges I have crossed that I know, I will never want to cross again.
Sometimes you cross a bridge because have taken steps to be a healthier person, sometimes it is theological, sometimes it is just the natural progression of life that had you cross the bridge.
Sometimes there are people on the other side of those bridges that are still your friends. People you respect, people that you hope you can continue to be in relationship with. Burning the bridge only hurts you both. It is also true that no matter how deep the chasm, people on opposite sides may find themselves on the same side again down the road.
And in a world that is constantly drawing lines in the sand, constantly yelling at each other from opposite sides of chasms, it has been important that my ministry look different. We should find ways to cross bridges without burning them.
But sometimes, there are people who burn the bridges for us. People who remain and say they can no longer stay in community with you, no longer work with you, no longer be your friend, etc. It hurts to stand on the opposite ridge and watch everything you once knew go up in flames. You know you’d never want to go back, but you thought before you crossed the bridge, there had been some level of respect and trust and now that is just ash.
Sometimes we just have to watch the flames, grieving what is lost but keep moving on. Knowing that God can take even those ashes and make something beautiful from them.