Catastrophic

It’s hard to put into words what I am feeling right now. Earlier tonight, while I was driving to our Wednesday evening Bible Study, I turned on my radio. I had it tuned into KFAN, the sports radio station in Minneapolis. What I was hearing had nothing to do with sports. The announcers were talking about my city. They were talking about a catastrophe. They were talking about a major bridge collapse. They were talking about a bridge that almost everyone that I know drives on a regular basis. The 35W bridge crossing the Mississippi River was gone.

I switched the station.

Now listening to WCCO, the local talk leader, I heard the frantic reports of various eyewitnesses. Trucks were on fire. People were trapped under rubble. A school bus, full of children, was on that bridge. People were dying.

I arrived at the home where our high schoolers would soon be arriving. The television set was already on. And, I watched. I sat in stunned silence as the images flooded across the screen. The images reminded me of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s. The Interstate Series, as it was called, was suspended when a giant earthquake made rubble of San Francisco’s highway system. This compared. But, we are in Minneapolis, and there was no earthquake.

As the students arrived, we watched. And then we sang songs of worship to our God. And then, we prayed. I loved listening to the heartfelt prayers of high school students, as they cried out to God on behalf of those who would never again see their loved ones. Our students understood that in this most awful of days, Jehovah was still on the throne.

As I get ready for bed, I’m shaken up. We cancelled our bowling activity that was scheduled for after Bible Study. We all felt a need to be close to the ones we love. When I arrived home, I held my kids. My younger two boys wanted to snuggle in Daddy’s arms. I thought about the people gathering at Hennepin County Medical Center waiting for word on their loved ones. I thought about those at North Memorial Hospital, and my friend Chris who moved back to the Twin Cities today from Chicago. He had sent out an appeal for help moving. He lives right by North Memorial. I thought about the police, fire fighters, rescue personnel and city officials. I’m full of questions. And, I’m trusting.

Lord,

I don’t understand why you allowed this tragedy today. I marvel at the way that you protected 60 kids on a bus, and I wonder why you allowed others to die. Come alongside of our city tonight. Come alongside of our state. Come alongside of all those who are hurting. And, use us as instruments of Your healing.

In Christ’s Precious Name,

Amen.