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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Game of Life (09/11/08)

TITLE: Not By Sight
By Holly Westefeld


The students bubbled with excitement as they flopped on beanbag chairs and sprawled against giant bolsters in the lounge of the Christian Ministry Center. Returning students welcomed freshmen and others who had transferred to the university. The buzz faded as Greg's and Charley's guitars tuned up.

"Good evening! Welcome to the first Sunday Fireside Fellowship of the fall. It's way too hot still for a crackling fire, but I trust that your testimonies of what God has done in your lives over the summer will warm all our hearts. Let's start with "My Life Is In You.""


"Heavenly Father, we thank You for the privilege of freely gathering here this evening to worship You. What a joy it is to raise our voices in praise and testimony to your goodness and faithfulness. As we begin a new school year, I ask that You would encourage us all in living by faith as Nicole shares her special insights this evening. In Jesus' precious name, amen."

Near the front, a girl with a long, honey-colored ponytail shifted her beanbag in order to face the rest of the group.

"Hi, everybody. I'm Nicole Nelson, and I'm a sophomore this year. I should have been a junior this year, except a drunk driver broadsided me on my way home from my high school graduation, so I took a year off to learn to read braille, to use a computer with screen-reading software, (imagine not being able to use a mouse,) and to travel with this." She held up a long white cane with reflective red tape.

"I didn't know Jesus then, just like all my "cool" friends who promptly forgot I existed." Nicole waved her hand toward a girl with russet ringlets. "But God sent Dana, an acquaintance, I am ashamed to admit, who I had joined my "friends" in snubbing. She invited me to the youth group at her church, where I came to know the One no one can see, but shows us His presence like the effects we can see, or feel, of the wind we cannot see either."

"For me, 2 Corinthians 5:7, "We live by faith, not by sight," seemed very literal."

"As Dana and others discipled me, however, I began to understand that self-reliance has absolutely nothing to do with sight. At first, I was scared to move without clinging to someone like a barnacle. Gradually, I learned how my senses of hearing, touch and smell could provide much of the information I had relied on vision to supply. Just for the record, I do not necessarily hear better than any of you, but I sure do pay attention to what I hear, which you may or may not do. Anyway, then I started learning to use a cane. It warns me of steps and obstacles, and helps me identify changes in surface--sidewalk and grass, tile and carpet, etc. I learned to detect whether traffic is parallel or perpendicular to me, and how traffic pattern sounds could tell me whether or not it is safe to cross. Pretty soon, I realized something about those arms I had adhered to so ferociously at first. Some I could trust completely, and others I had better keep my cane in my other hand. Now, accepting someone's arm to lead me, without cane in hand, is an act of faith, not fear. I must have faith that they will remember how far I extend from their side, so I don't get bruised, or worse, from bouncing off of posts, doorjambs and the like. I must trust that they will approach steps straight on, instead of at an angle that could cause me to trip because there is no warning of their arm moving up or down first. It's in my best interests, having decided that someone is trustworthy, to stay a step behind them so I can sense every motion, left, right, up, or down."

"Following Jesus in faith is much the same. It is not faith if I seek some means of sneaking a peek at the path ahead. It certainly isn't faith if I take off on my own, believing I know a better path than He does. And I am not wise to get out of step with Him so I cannot sense His leading. May we all strive this year to truly say, "My LIFE, (leader in faith everywhere,) Is In You.""

The rapt silence lingered for a few more seconds, then the lounge erupted in applause.


The scripture reference is from the NIV.

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Member Comments
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Jan Ackerson 09/18/08
Wonderful! The bit that moved me most was that the girl she had snubbed earlier became the one who eventually brought her to faith. I'd actually be very interested in more of that back story, sometime! And this was very informative--in an entertaing way--about blindness. Excellent.
Beth LaBuff 09/18/08
Great title for this! I liked your contrast in Dana's blindness and "the One no one can see, but shows us His presence " The 2 Corinthians 5:7 verse if perfect (and a great reminder, thanks). Love the profound wisdom of this, "It is not faith if I seek some means of sneaking a peek at the path ahead."
Scott Sheets09/24/08
What a beautiful message! Thank you for sharing it.