I tweeted something that sparked an idea:
Here is what I came up with:
A woman stood at the height of a bridge. The world beneath her, so above. Beckoning to the townspeople below, to join her in marveling at the sights of heaven and hell. With a song in her heart, she chanted for help in painting her soul’s collage on the old and squeaky wood that somehow managed to call itself a bridge.
A peasant climbed to the spot of the song with rough leaves and an intention of preparing the wood. He joined in the melody and chanted for help in shaping his creation so that the woman’s soul could be free, staining the bridge and showing him his own soul.
Two maids answered the hymn by collecting berries and two buckets of water with the intention of hauling their tools to the center of the bridge, for which to paint the story of heaven and hell.
The man completed the task of composing the blank slate. The two maids pressed their berries and delicately created a mixture of colors for the woman to make her masterpiece.
After constructing a brush of twigs and the left over leaves the peasant used to smooth the bridge, they presented the instrument to the woman who took no notice as she sang louder and more agressively for help.
Feeling alone and abandoned, taking no notice of the three kind strangers who came to her aid, the woman saw not what they had done for her. In a rage of lonliness she condemned the bridge to hell for it bore not her soul’s purpose in the light of heaven or the shadows of hell.
Frantically grabbing remnants of the day’s work, she built a fire. As the kindling took to the breeze, the peasant and the two maids began shouting for help, fearful of the fathoms below. The woman quickly acknowledged the presence of the three townspeople as the fire roared with no intention.
Afraid she would be seen in the truth of the flames and accused of murder, she pushed the peasant and then one maid and then the second off of the burning bridge before the flames overtook her body.
Pieces of the bridge fell to the ground below with the woman’s body. Her soul, now free, was burnt into the earth, painting the baron land in ash.
The three townspeople survived the push they equally received. They survived, however their bodies were broken and their minds were tainted of good deeds. They moaned for help.
in a moment of realization, as the heavens shone down where the bridge had once stood, blocking the rays of above, the two maids helped the peasant and the peasant helped the maids. Broken but present they saw that help was in front of them. Help didn’t look like the prodigal assistance so often imagined. Help looked like themselves, like the equally battered soul staring across the way, in the light of the same pain.
I am reminded of a story as I try to express the experience of helping those who are not capable of seeing:
A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.
Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”
The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”
So the rowboat went on.
Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”
To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”
So the motorboat went on.
Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”
To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”
So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.
Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”
To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”