Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)
TITLE: The First Step
By Mary McLeary
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“Okay, I only have to take the first step. I don’t have to go all the way across. Right now I just have to take the first step on this creaky old bridge.” She couldn’t help but wonder how others before her had found the courage to cross.
The valley looked unbelievably deep. One misstep and she would be gone. Would the bridge hold her weight? Would it sway? Would she get dizzy and fall off? The questions flooded her mind overwhelming her with doubt.
The journey this far had been brutal and if not for her guide she would have wandered off the trail and become lost. Though she knew the fear of being lost, she wasn’t lost now. The woman knew exactly where she was. She was facing a huge valley all by herself. However, how she came to be here all alone was still perplexing.
Where the others had gone was a mystery. Sometimes she thought she heard them. Somewhere in the mist there was a soft murmuring of voices, but she could not see anyone now. When the journey began, she had been in the very middle of the group. She recalled feeling safe and content there. That was a lovely feeling. Then the guide had called them and away they all went. The space between them had gotten wider and wider until now, well, she was alone.
Apparently, the guide had abandoned her as well. She was distressed by his absence more than anything. If she could just see the guide and hold his hand she knew she would be able to whip right across the old bridge. If her guide were with her she would keep her eyes on him only. She wouldn’t need to look at anything or anyone else. She had faith that he could lead her across, but where had he gone?
“Where are you?” She cried out. “I need you here right now! I can not cross this bridge alone!” She wanted to stamp her foot, but knew she was too old for tantrums. She didn’t have the energy any way. This journey had certainly taken its toll. The energy and enthusiasm she had at the beginning had waned, and now she was bone weary.
“What shall I do?” She wondered aloud.
“I am with you always.” The words popped into her head as plain as day. She took a deep breath and put one foot on the bridge. It did sway slightly.
Suddenly she recalled a verse from her Bible that said, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them.”
“I have cried out, He has heard me.” She took another step and dared not look down.
“But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” He had not forsaken her! She could hear his voice! The Guide was close.
One step after another she traversed the bewildering bridge until finally her foot touched the solid ground on the other side, and there she beheld the most beautiful sight. With heads quietly bowed in prayer, the others held hands and quietly offered up prayers for their sister’s strength and safety while faced with this difficult challenge. These righteous souls had faced their own valleys and now prayed for her. They had lifted her up to God Almighty and,“ His ears had been attentive to their prayers.”
“Thank you, Lord.” She whispered. “You were always with me.” Bless you Jesus.” She quietly joined the others in prayer for the next soul who needed to cross the bridge.
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