James 3:18 (NLT)
18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
And then, lastly, true wisdom will go on to sow the fruits of righteousness in peace, and thus, if it may be, to make peace in the world. And that which is sown in peace will produce a harvest of joys. Let others reap the fruits of contentions, and all the advantages they can propose to themselves by them; but let us go on peaceably to sow the seeds of righteousness, and we may depend upon it our labour will not be lost. For light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart; and the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. [Matthew Henry Commentary]
CNN.com told the story of Harmon Parker, a master mason who has found a unique calling in building bridges�literal bridges in Kenya.
One of the men who helps him is David Kakuko, whose parents drowned in a flash flood years ago because there wasn't a safe way to cross the river. "Before the bridge, there [were] so many people, so many who lost their lives," remembers Kakuko. "I know, because I have no parents. I have no parents, because this river took them."
Motivated by his desire to love and obey Christ, Harmon Parker came to Kenya and proceeded to build 45 foot bridges. They are simply designed, with an average length of 120 feet and an average cost of $6,000. He uses basic, local materials and always engages the people from the community to work and to help contribute.
According to the CNN article, he said, "I have built many bridges in very remote areas for the 'few and the needy' that a larger organization may not consider. Knowing this bridge will probably save at least one life is what makes me tick �. I build bridges because I want to save lives, lives that I will never know about."
Parker funded an organization called Bridging the Gap to help fund his work. He has paid a high price himself in experiencing long periods away from his family, being robbed at gunpoint, and contracting serious illnesses. Yet he says, "I feel I'm blessed � privileged to do what I'm doing. A bridge is a beautiful metaphor for many things. There are bridges of hope, bridges of peace, bridges of life. To me, bridges are beautiful." [Danielle Berger, "Transforming Kenya one bridge at a time," CNN.com (8-21-10)]
Jesus said in Matthew 5:9, �God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.� There are many ways to bring peace into our lives. One way might be the building of a bridge so people will know the peace of safely crossing a river. Another is building bridges in relationships so that people begin to understand one another and feel the peace of a good relationship. Those who have wisdom, those who understand peace, know it takes effort to maintain peace that lasts.