Simon And Garfunkel's 1969, Bridge Over Troubled Water is still thought to be one of the most moving songs ever written. Paul Simon's lyrics go to core of finding hope in the midst of life's darkest times. When you’re weary, feeling small, When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all, I’m on your side, When times get rough, And friends just can’t be found... When evening falls so hard, I will comfort you... When darkness comes, And pain is all around, Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down. His song finishes with: Sail on, silvergirl, Sail on by, Your time has come to shine, All your dreams are on their way, See how they shine... Like a bridge over troubled water, I will ease your mind...
Paul Simon said that his silvergirl was his wife Peggy Harper, who was just beginning to go grey at the time. Tragically, his bridge collapsed in 1975 when they divorced. The song was popular with the hippy generation, so many people thought that the silvergirl was a syringe and it was heroin that would ease their minds. Tragically, millions found this bridge always collapsed into even deeper troubled waters. So, when you hear this song, who or what is your bridge over troubled water?
Here's a much older song. But you are a shield around me, O Lord... I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. (Psalm 3:3-5). Where does comfort like this come from? Two thousand years ago, they took Jesus down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead, and He appeared for many days to those who came with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now His witnesses. (Acts 13:29-31). Here is someone who understands what it is to be weary and feeling small, who has been through the darkness and who has suffered pain all around. Here's someone who can lay down with you in sorrow and will lay down with you in death. Unlike Paul Simon's silvergirl, Peggy, unlike the hippy's slivergirl of drugs, Jesus will not let you down. He is the unbreakable bridge across the sorrows of life and the darkness of death. Why not cross that bridge this Easter? Start by going to church and speak to someone who can tell you more.
(Written for the Littlehampton Gazette, Easter 2018)