The Bridge
A Spiritual Archives Story from

The Bridge

Submitted 27 May 1998 by Debra <[email protected]>

There once was a bridge which spanned a large river.  During most of the day the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river paralleled with the banks, allowing ships to pass through freely on both sides of the bridge.  But at certain times each day, a train would come along and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river, allowing a train to cross it.

A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed.  One evening, as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come, he looked off into the distance through the dimming twilight and caught
sight of the train lights.  He stepped to the control and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance when he was to turn the bridge.  He turned the bridge into position, but, to his horror, he found the locking control did not work.  If the bridge was not securely in position, it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came onto it, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river.   This would be a passenger train with many people aboard.

He left the bridge turned across the river, and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river where there was a lever switch he could hold to operate the lock manually.  He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train crossed.  He could hear the rumble of the train now, and he took hold of the lever and leaned backward to apply his weight to it, locking the bridge.  He kept applying the pressure to keep the mechanism locked.  Many lives depended on this man's strength!

Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack, he heard a sound that made his blood run cold.  "Daddy, where are you?" his 4-year old son was crossing the bridge to look for him.  His first impulse was to cry out to the child, "Run!  Run!"  But the train as too close; the tiny
legs would never make it across the bridge in time.  The man almost left his lever to run and snatch up his son and carry him to safety.  But he realized that he could not get back to the lever.  Either the people on the train or his little son must die.

He took a moment to make his decision.  The train sped safely and swiftly on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the onrushing train.  Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of the sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locking lever long after the train had passed.   They did not see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked: to tell his wife how their son had brutally died.

Now if you comprehend the emotions which went through this man's heart, you can begin to understand the feelings of our Father in Heaven when He sacrificed His Son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life.  Can there be any wonder that He caused the earth to tremble and the skies to darken when His Son died?  How does He feel when we speed along through life without giving a single thought to what was done for us through Jesus Christ?

Brothers and sisters, when was the last time you thanked Him for the sacrifice of His Son?   God loves us so much that He sent His own son to save us.  He will always be there and love you.  Now, what can you do for Him?

Everybody needs to be saved and realize the love of God.

A friend passed this along to me and I cried.  I cried for four reasons:  (1) I cried for the man and the child on the bridge; (2) I cried for the Father; (3) I cried for the Son; and (4) I cried because I am so unworthy of His love.  There are so many parallels in this story and so much for us to learn from it.  It reminds me that we have choices, some of which are very difficult and painful.  Do we take the easy way -- the way that, at the moment, feels the most comfortable?  Or, do we take the more difficult way -- the way of the "narrow path" where, when we reach home, our rewards are greater than we could ever expect or imagine?  The beautiful thing is that we CAN see, here on earth, the "Light" if we only open our eyes and our hearts.  As mortal humans, He gives us only a taste of what is yet to come.  Let us allow Him in and walk in the Light, right now -- today.

In His Love,


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