When I lived in Hobart in 1958/59 there was only a pontoon bridge across the Derwent River. I didn’t like it because it swayed if the weather was rough or the tides were high and waves would splash over the sides. However, it was the main link between the airport on the east side (where 30% of Hobartians live) and the city of Hobart on the west. In 1964 the new Tasman Bridge was opened and though I had been to Hobart on several occasions (by road from Launceston) I had never driven over it.
On the 5th January 1975, the whole country was shocked to hear that the bulk ore carrier, the Lake Illawarra, crashed into several pylons on the Tasman Bridge and brought a large section down. Fortunately, because it was a Sunday night there were few cars on the bridge. However, seven crew members died and five people in cars drove over the edge of the bridge and were killed.
The toll could have been much worse. Local people in small craft, in true Dunkirk style, braved the falling masonry, live wires and a torrent of water from a broken main above them and heroically saved many on the ore carrier before it sank. How marvellous is the remarkable, unflinching human spirit that will brave all to save another? That spirit being gifted to us by God the Father Himself when He created us.
It so reminds me of God’s salvation plan for us all. Jesus would come as a human to bear the rejection, the thorns, the beatings and the cross to save us because God is not willing that any should perish.