24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
“Oh Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand”
–The Solid Rock, Edward Mote
Sand. Rock. What amazing imagery. I watched a program the other night on PBS about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. The engineering behind it is astounding. When it was completed, it was the largest suspension bridge in the world, 50% longer than anyone built before it. Also, for several years it was the tallest structure in the western hemeisphere.
The tower on the Manhatten side is also built on…sand. Yes, sand. As they were sinking the caissons into the river bed, they determined that the bedrock was a full 130 feet below the surace of the water. So, after taking samples of fossils, they determined that the level of sand they were at had not shifted in a million years (which brings into question the “young earth” theory-but we’ll leave that one alone) so they figured they were safe at placing the caisson in the sand at that depth (bedrock was another 30 feet, and months, if not years deeper). Oh, and the original architect died of tetanus, then his son took over, who suffered the bends from being in the submerged caissons (which were/are made of wood, a half-city block long) too long. When he got too sick to work, his wife took over for him, completeing the bridge.
Sand. Rock. Sometimes, sand becomes all we can cling to. There is a song by Caedmon’s Call entitled “Shifting Sand”. Some lyrics are below.
“My faith is like shifting sand
Changed by every wave
My faith is like shifting sand
So I stand on grace
I’ve begged you for some proof
For my Thomas eyes to see
A slithering staff, a leprous hand
And lions resting lazily
A glimpse of your back-side glory
And this soaked altar going ablaze
But you know I’ve seen so much
I explained it away.”
Sometimes, all we have is faith and hope and trust. Because all of the hard evidence, all of the “real” things we could point to, are gone. We are like HI McDonough in the movie “Raising Arizona”, lying on a bed in Maricopa Municipal County Prison, talking to our cellmate.
Cellmate: “When I was growing up, we’d eat meat. When we did not have meat, we’d eat fowl. When there was no fowl, we’d eat crawdad, when there was no crawdad, we ate sand.”
HI: “You ate sand?
Cellmate: “We ate sand.”
Sometimes sand has to suffice. But it’s temporary.