Space for Change

May 17, 2023

At Bridge of Hope, we are focusing right now on “Making Space” for affordable housing, building a scaffolding of support around families facing homelessness and stepping into brave conversations as we practice Cultural Humility. This month’s guest blog post by board member, Rev. Marsha Brown Woodard, reminds us that making space for change is so important as we practice Cultural Humility. 


 Space for Change
by Dr. Rev. Marsha Brown Woodard, Bridge of Hope National Board Member

 I’ve been thinking about change recently, it’s slipped in to my quiet time and so this reflection may be more for me than for anyone else, change is not always easy. Not all change, but the change that challenges us to see others in a different way.  A few years ago, I raised this question, do you have space for change?

Space for Someone to Change[1]

Do you have space for someone to change?


Have you locked them in a position from which they cannot escape?

Is there space that the position they take today may not be the one they hold next week, next month, or next year?

Do you have space for someone to change?


Is there any space for the person that holds a position different from yours to change their mind?

Is there any space for the congregation that holds views that you can’t understand to ever be in a new place?

Do you have space for God to do a work in their lives or have you locked them in a position from which they cannot escape?

Do you have space for someone to change? Is there any space for someone to grow?

Could you welcome them and believe that change has occurred or do they have to prove themselves to you?

Can you give God thanks for their change?


Maybe the question is will you be changed? Is there space in you for God to work?

Is there space in you for God to move so that you will see them through another lens?

Is there space for change?

Change is a challenge especially when it comes to those who might think, act, and live differently than we do. I am continually reminded that scripture can help, that there are often hints, examples of others doing this hard work, we just don’t talk about them a lot.

We know that Esau was mad when Jacob “stole” his birthright. So mad that he threatens to kill him – but we speak less often of how he had changed over time and that when Jacob returns home years later, Esau genuinely welcomes him back. (It is Jacob who seems stuck in time and not able to believe that Esau had changed.) [2]

 We know that Pharaoh issued an edict that all male babies were to be thrown in the Nile and we tend to think that his family would probably believe like him and hold the same values and miss the miracle of his daughter, who was brave enough and strong enough, to knowingly save a male Hebrew baby. Not only did she save the child but also provided security for the child for he went back to the same area that had been unsafe a few hours earlier.[3]

We need space for others to change and maybe even more challenging, we need space for ourselves to change. We need courage like Ananias to believe that Saul had indeed changed when there was no outward evidence that any change had occurred.[4]

Do you have space for someone else to change?
Do you have space for you to change?


[1] I Choose To Thrive, Marsha Brown Woodard, 2016 (adapted)
[2] Genesis 27:41-45; 33:1-17
[3] Exodus 2:5-10
[4] Acts 9:10-19

Space for Change