U.S. Army Engineers built a bridge over the Choluteca river in Honduras to withstand storms and hurricanes. In 1998 Hurricane Mitch brought floods, death and destruction to the area. 150 Honduran bridges were destroyed, but not the Choluteca Bridge.
When the flood waters receded the hurricane had re-routed the river to flow through a new channel. The bridge remained a fine structure, but it spanned a river that was no longer there. 12 years later it still stands useless.
In 2020 there are excellent well-constructed bridges – but over re-routed rivers.
Offices with big open spaces have been empty for months. Many people have adjusted to working from home; they like not having to travel for work or meetings. Work is still being done, the river is still flowing – but it’s flowing outside the office building.
Our hospitals were designed and built for serious illness, medication, invasive procedures and cures. There is now a greater emphasis on prevention, on an even greater co-operation between clinicians and researchers. The river seems to be changing course.
In education the river seems to be changing course. Our holistic education, from nursery to university, that has flourished, developing well-rounded social and sociable citizens, is now changing to a socially distanced more academically focused model.
Our churches have structurally sound bridges, built well with care and purpose. Many bridges span needs that used to be, but, because of recent hurricanes, have moved.
Many are waiting for the river to return to its original course; others are trying to force the river to go back under the old bridge. Meanwhile we maintain an old bridge that is wasting away, serving no one and standing useless and redundant.
The alternative is to accept that the river has moved, leave redundant bridges, and create new ones that will cross the river of the needs of those around us.