Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Prayers for Minneapolis: A personal note

I've been alternating between shock, grief and praise tonight as I've watched television feeds from Minneapolis of the bridge collapse on Interstate 35W over the Mississippi River.

I've been on that bridge dozens and dozens of times. I can visualize exactly where it was. I've been stunned at the scope of the tragedy in both directions -- the magnitude of the damage and, surprisingly, the relatively low casualty count. The praise for the people who survived and for those people who risked their own lives to help others escape. The images were compelling. One that struck me was the officer with the yellow rope tied to her who tried to check from car to car for survivors. Or the miracle of all of the children surviving on the school bus that plunged down along with and next to the burning semi.

This is very personal for me. I've spent many, many days in "the cities" and this bridge is right next to my old stomping grounds near the Metrodome and Dinkytown. I'm crying for those who were hurt and who died. I'm praising the sheer number of people who did survive what could have been a much more horrendous tragedy. I'm praying for the families touched by this. I sent a donation to the Twin Cities Red Cross. I'm hoping that there will be more survivors. I'm angry that rescue operations are being scaled back (don't they have portable lights in Minnesota?). So many emotions and, for a guy who has been on that bridge many times, a tragedy that can be touched and felt -- even from 360 miles away.

I will continue to eat, sleep and drink the news of this tragedy -- maybe a miraculous tragedy is a better description. I will continue to have a myriad of emotions. And I will ask you to join in prayer.

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