Text: 2 Kings 2:1-14
And she stood far off on the bank of the river.
And she said, “For what do I go to this far land which no one has ever reached? Oh, I am alone! I am utterly alone!”
And Reason, that old man, said to her, “Silence! What do you hear?”
And she listened intently, and she said, “I hear the sound of feet, a thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands, and they beat this way!”
He said, “They are the feet of those that shall follow you. Lead on! Make a track to the water’s edge! Where you stand now, the ground will be beaten flat by ten thousand times ten thousand feet.” And he said, “Have you seen the locusts how they cross a stream? First one comes down to the water-edge, and it is swept away, and then another comes and then another, and at last with their bodies piled up a bridge is built and the rest pass over.”
She said, “And of those that come first, some are swept away, and are heard of no more; their bodies do not even build the bridge?”
“And are swept away, and are heard of no more—and what of that?” he said.
“And what of that—” she said. “They make a track to the water’s edge.”
“They make a track to the water’s edge—” And she said, “Over that bridge which shall be built with our bodies, who will pass?”
He said, “The entire human race.”
And the woman grasped her staff.
And I saw her turn down the dark path to the river.
“Have you seen the locusts how they cross a stream?” wrote Oliver Schreiner, South African writer and peace activist. There may be no stronger image for that which Jesus says that we, like he, are called, than that of the locusts who attempt to cross the river and, in so doing, make a bridge for others.
This past week, an 84 year-old widow named Edie Windsor made a bridge for others of us to cross over. It was her story that led the United States Supreme Court to strike down the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. It was her story of her life with her wife of 42 years, Thea Clara Spyer, that has now changed the course of history – making a bridge for others to walk across.