Bridges No More…

The old trestle bridge…man, I\’d forgotten about that…

Spent the afternoon with my brother, David, who is the owner of D\’Vinci\’s Italian Eatery and Catering of Watertown (dvincis.com–check it out, they\’ve got AMAZING food and service). I\’m helping him with his website and one of the details we addressed was noting its location in relationship to the Luce Line. The Luce Line is a state trail that runs through the heart of Minnesota and smack dab through the bustling bedroom community of Watertown. It used to, long ago, be a railroad track. For many years (before the Luce Line was developed) the track was shut down and in appalling disrepair…those years I was a kid in Watertown.

The old trestle held that railroad track up over the Crow River. As a kid I remember it being a great adventure and utterly dangerous to cross. I recall gaping holes where the railroad ties had rotted and fallen into the river and the occasional old door laid over a gap, for walking on. Then there were the stories (tall tales?) of the kids who\’d fallen into the river below..I forget details but they were not all happy endings. I watched friends more nimble and brave than I actually make it over to the other side. I\’m pretty sure I never crossed the trestle bridge. I think I started once, but chickened out…although I didn\’t feel all that proud about it then, I\’m glad I\’m here today, all in one piece, able to blog about it.

A week ago was the one year anniversary of the collapse of the 35W bridge in Minneapolis. When it happened, it hit the media like a bullet and the nation (the world?) watched video of our busiest bridge go down, and then down again, right into the Mississippi. It looked like an earthquake wreaking havoc, but there was no tremor…not in Minnesota, no, just really poor maintenance. People died, people were hurt and many more were traumatized…a busload of children among them.

Bridges, in dreams, symbolize transitional points, passings from one place to another, over a dangerous, unpredictable below. If you dream of a bridge, take note where you are in relationship to it…it might give you a clue where you are in proximity to a transitional time, even a time of spiritual growth. If it stands before you, then you may be moving into a time of change (and maybe you even have the option to not cross); if you\’re on it, then you\’re right in the middle of transition; and if you\’re on the other side then you\’ve crossed over and it is behind you.

The old trestle and the 35W bridge clearly show that bridge crossing isn\’t always safe, isn\’t always predictable and sometimes we end up in the place we\’re trying to stay above, trying to avoid…in the murky waters below or falling into a deep chasm. I think this holds up spiritually as well as physically.

I did a search for the word \”bridge\” in the Bible and there isn\’t one noted. A bit surprising!! The closest I could find was crossing over dry land where rivers/seas are parted by God. I\’m sure we\’ve all got in our mind\’s eye the image of Charlton Heston as Moses in The Ten Commandments crossing the Red Sea with the Israelites on dry ground as they fled the Egyptians, but this is only one of several times water was parted for crossing. Seems God didn\’t bother providing a bridge or even instructing that a bridge be built, He just parted water instead! WOW!!

So, is there something to learn here? What flashes through my mind is when our bridge gives way and we go crashing into whatever lies below that God is still around, we are not alone. In fact, I think He waits \’til we ask for help and then comes and provides a way through to the other side. Of course, ideally we should have asked Him up front to provide a way through instead of desperately trying to stay above it all ourselves. I mean, really, He is the only one who can give us dry ground in the middle of a flood, in the middle of a sea, in the middle of a river. Solid dry ground with walls of water on both sides: utterly wild and looks rip roaringly dangerous, but then God is giving us the safest and most direct way to the other side, isn\’t He?

The few instances I spotted (there are probably more) of Him parting water required an act of faith before the waters parted. Moses had to raise his staff and stretch out his hand over the sea, Joshua\’s ark of the covenant priests had to go stand in the river Jordan, Elijah had to touch the water with his cloak. Seems there is no way across if we don\’t turn and face it. Seems there is no way across if we don\’t trust God to act. Seems there is no way across without obeying His instruction. We can build a bridge, but then we\’re on shaky ground…might make it, might not…if we do, then we miss out on a miracle…a really big, \”can\’t deny this one\” miracle.

I think Simon and Garfunkel missed it… God\’s not a bridge over troubled water, He is the way through the troubled water. No trestle bridge in sight…works for me!

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