Serious Thought on Bridge Collapse
Dr. Michael L. Ford
3 August 2007
It has been almost two decades since the one and only time I went over the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis. But having seen and traveled over the span that collapsed makes it seem less like something in a movie. That and knowing people who live up there allows me to think about what happened in more personal terms.
At the time the bridge collapsed between 100 and 150 vehicles were on the bridge including a school bus. I laughed when news-people went on about how the heavier vehicles travel the bridge than when it was first built because at the time of collapse only one lane of traffic was open. Any way you turn it the weight was less than the bridge ordinarily carried. But they had to get in an inappropriate dig at SUVs whether it was logical or not.
Sometimes watching the reporting I got the feeling there were reporters disappointed the toll of dead and injured is not greater. Minneapolis Fire Chief Jim Clark said "I think it was something of a miracle." I am inclined to agree with him. People came up with all kinds of explanations for this, but you hear few crediting the mercy of God. They say: Bridge design minimized falling debris; there was quick response by rescue crews; rush-hour crawl gave vehicles little momentum to plunge into the river; and the speed and depth of the water in the Mississippi River were much lower than normal. Where is the credit for the God who over and over in America’s tragedies has remembered mercy?
It has been a few years now since a bridge tragedy provoked national outcry for America’s aging bridge system but I remember it well. It seems worthwhile to always question the agenda of people trying to stir up some sort of pressure for thoughtless action. The experts proclaim they do not know why this bridge went down but assure us it was not because of terrorism. But then we have to ask ourselves if they knew it was terrorism would they tell us? I suspect some kinds of public outcry are more acceptable than others.
Frankly I am looking forward to what might happen next. It might be very revealing about where truth lies. But I suggest we pray and ask God to continue to remember mercy!
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