The Moving Bridge

The Moving Bridge

In the Green Mountains of Vermont over a gurgling mountain stream stands a new bridge of cement and steel. This new bridge does something which the old bridge could not do.

The old bridge was a Covered Bridge made entirely of wood. It had a roof just like a house or barn, and when seen from a distance it looked very much like one. These Covered Bridges are rapidly disappearing and are being replaced by cement and steel ones.

This stream flows through a deep valley and in the summer the shallow water flows around and between the big boulders that lie in the river bed. Although this small river looks so innocent and harmless most of the year, there are times when it becomes a raging torrent which is very powerful. In the fall of 1938 unusually heavy rains raised the water in the river so high that it overflowed its banks and flooded the entire valley. Many people living in the valley had to go to higher ground for the water was coming through the doors of their houses. Much damage was done and many bridges including the old Covered Bridge were washed out.

A new bridge of cement and steel was built to replace the old Covered Bridge. In the cool of the evening when the sun has sunk behind the mountains this bridge can make a strange dull sound which can be heard at various intervals in the quiet valley for at least a quarter of a mile. These mysterious noises were not heard in the valley in the days of the old Covered Bridge.

How can a bridge of cement and steel make a sound? The steel in the new bridge actually moves, and when it does with all the tons and tons of weight resting on it, it makes a quick dull sound. What makes this very heavy structure of steel move? Does it move by itself? No, something moves all that weight. What is strong enough to move a heavy bridge that has its foundation deep in the ground? There is no tractor strong enough to move it. The bridge is made to move by something that does not make a noise like a tractor; in fact, it is quieter than a mouse, you cannot hear it at all. The quiet sun in the sky moves that bridge. How? The sun has no hands, it has no rope that can be tied to the bridge. It not only makes no noise in moving all that steel, but you cannot even see the power by which it does that heavy work. Not only does the sun move this bridge but all other bridges of steel on which it shines.

How does the sun do it? During the day it shines on the bridge and makes the steel expand. Then after the sun has set and it begins to get cool the steel contracts. The contracting steel springs back into place with a quick, dull sound. As it gets cooler in the evening the steel contracts more and more and at various intervals the sound is heard. The sun moves a heavy bridge that no tractor can move, and it does that without noise and by a power that we cannot see.

The most powerful things in this world we cannot see. Can we see love? Yet love is strong enough to get anything done. Love keeps the home going, without it there could be no home. Love for God and His Son Jesus Christ keeps the churches open. Love is strong enough to make some people willing to die for others. Jesus loved us enough to die for us. Without love in our hearts we are not much good, neither are we strong. Yet we cannot see love.

Hope is something else which we cannot see. And yet, we should be useless and worthless if we had no hope. We hope that tomorrow we shall do better than today; we hope to make good citizens and Christian people of ourselves. We hope to do something useful in this world, to have many friends and to have a home of our own. We hope for the best. Without this hope we could not do much. Yet we cannot see hope anymore than we can see love. The things we cannot see are the strongest.

We cannot see God. Is there anything stronger than God? God made this world, the sun, moon and stars. Our world is big, the stars which look so small to us are still larger. God made them all. Only God can grow a big tree or a small flower. Yet we cannot see Him do it. He does all this without any noise. Yes, the most powerful things in this world we cannot see.

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