As the saying goes and that was certainly true of the hardy souls who turned out for the annual Christian Aid and CAFOD Humber Bridge Cross fundraiser last Saturday.
The weather forecast wasn’t encouraging; “High winds and heavy downpours expected with a chance of thunderstorms” said the weatherman. We set out anyway. The sun was shining as we signed up in the registration tent and we laughed as we followed the jazz band to the steps at the foot of the bridge. I felt a few drops of rain and wryly thanked God!
The heaven’s opened just as we got onto the bridge and the wind whipped the rain into our bodies as we ventured across the wide expanse. Undaunted, we put up our hoods and pulled our coats tighter around us and pressed on amid the torrent over the swirling murky waters below us. Halfway across as the rain stopped, we sported a visible wet and dry side! I was so glad I’d changed into my walking trousers. With clothes drying, we had our cards stamped and gratefully accepted the juice and biscuits to boost our energy levels for the return crossing while we marvelled at the stalwarts wrapped in windbreaks on the Barton side who catered to our needs!
Of course it would have been easier not to bother, I mean, who wants to take the risk of being at the mercy of the elements in such an exposed location – right? Except then I might never have met with the other people who came along, like Brian and Bernard, who staffed the registration desk; or exchanged smiles with the windswept walkers making the return crossing; and the stewards who encouraged us on with a cheery word; or caught the glimpse of lightening striking the earth in the distance from my lofty vantage point; or met Peter unexpectedly.
But I was even more grateful to have been privileged to listen as Sheila and Susan bravely shared their own very poignant, personal stories of losing a cherished child as we walked back…
After we had collected our certificates and goody bags, we shared a hot drink with Norah and David and nibbled Divine chocolate before departing for home… then I truly thanked God for his blessings.