There is something different that happens within us when we see or hear a true life story being told. I am so much more moved by something when I know that a real, tangible, human being actually experienced something like that. The emotions, the sweat, the heart racing, the adrenaline, whatever; It's vivid. I can watch a TV show like 24 and it be some of the most intense things ever, but my mind knows that no matter how real it may seem, it's not reality. Jack Bauer is just a name for Kiefer Sutherland and all his stunt doubles. Yes, I realize that there are in fact people that experience things like that, but not that story line or that person, etc.
However, I can watch something like Saving Private Ryan, The Pacific, or Band of Brothers and be crying at the end. It's like I'm overwhelmed by the fact that people actually experienced conditions like that. I start to play out what would go through my mind in those situations, what it would smell like, the exhaustion, the heartbreak, the anguish, the pain. It seems impossible. Things that matter and are real move me. Enter, The Bridge.
The Bridge is a documentary about The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA. More so it is about the stories of the people who in the year of 2004 committed suicide by jumping off the bridge. It was inspired by an article in The New Yorker magazine in 2003 entitled "Jumpers" by Tad Friend.
I had no idea what I was getting into. The opening sequence took me. I couldn't believe what I was watching. I hurt for them. Hearing the stories from those who knew them—so sad. Hearing the stories of their search for meaning, for value, for hope, for a purpose in life and yet it all lead to a single moment. It was indescribably bleak to literally watch the last moments of these peoples lives after hearing the stories leading to that very moment. It would be simple to write it off as a tragedy for "those people", or they were sick or they had this or that, but it doesn't change the fact that they are now gone. Hopelessly gone. What a juxtaposition to see such tragic things alongside beautiful imagery of the Golden Gate Bridge.
It made me thankful for my family, my friends, what I get to be a part of, and for the hope I have in Christ. Afterwards I sat for a moment wondering what God could have done in them. It seemed like they tried to find hope in everything else and each time came up empty. I don't have much of a conclusion to any of this, because I think my brain is still processing through it, but it is definitely heavy in me.
I encourage you to see it, it's intense. Goodness it's intense, but it moves me in a way that makes me thankful for where I am, and thankful that I don't have to choose what is next in my life. Each day as I take the next step He leads and orchestrates my path for His purpose. Giving up control is hard, but it has literally saved me from death.
Stories move people. I want my story to move people closer to Him because of what God's done in me, not in spite of me and my failed attempts at trying to do it on my own. Often we as humans need to be saved from ourselves, and I know that often applies to me.