Did you ever cross the Brooklyn Bridge over the East River in New York? A lot of folks have. About 125,000 cars cross the bridge every day plus more than 3,000 on bicycles. Oh, and more than 4,000 walk the mile or so, many of them to work and back. Surprisingly, there is no toll for use of the bridge.
The Brooklyn Bridge opened in May of 1883 and was the first cable suspension bridge of its kind ever built; truly one of the wonders of the world. A week after its opening a rumor circulated that the bridge was about to collapse and a dozen people were trampled to death in the stampede that ensued. P. T. Barnum of circus fame – ever the showman – was in New York at the time and the next day led a parade of 21 elephants (including Jumbo) across the bridge to demonstrate his confidence in its strength.
Every day for nearly 135 years the Brooklyn Bridge has carried a daily crossing weight of cars alone of some 500 million pounds. I didn’t do the math on that to find the total, but it’s a bunch.
But here is why I want to tell this story. In 2003, following the attacks on the World Trade Center, subway service was suspended in New York and myriads of people found themselves having to walk across the bridge. As it happens, so many people walking the same direction in the same space at the same time developed a kind of cadence – a kind of synchronization, almost a lock-step, and for the first time in history the Brooklyn Bridge began to sway.
Hurricanes had not phased it. Earth tremors had not shaken it. Millions of tons of daily vehicular traffic had not caused it to tremble. Why now? Later the engineering report attempted to explain it. “The unusual movement sensed on that day could have had only one cause: The combined rhythm of many feet.”
Aha, I thought. What a perfect example of a harmoniously functioning church.
Not just the rhythm of its collective feet, but the heartbeat of its collective knees. Minds and hearts knit together in a common cause. Focus locked on to what God Himself calls, “the plans I have for you.” Undistracted. Undivided. Undeterred. Shaking the unshakeable. Causing the foundations of Satan’s very kingdom to tremble. It can happen, you know. Let’s prove it.
By Don Jacobsen