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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: See (07/22/10)

TITLE: What's Out There?
By Kate Oliver Webb


I can’t see!

I’ve often thought that, should I wake some morning and know nothing of golden light streaming into my room, feel warm breath on my face but not see the lovely almond eyes of Amie, my cat, and then calling out frantically to my daughter who would rush from her room to mine, and yet I’d not be able to see the concern in her wonderful warm brown eyes—how could I go on?

People do experience this, probably more often than I care to know about; and I wonder: how do they go on?

I so rely on my eyes. I seem to be a “sight” person.

I heard of an informal test used by some professionals, when talking with a troubled person and trying to ascertain which style of communication might be best, the professional listens to learn whether the person responds with “I see what you mean,” or “I hear you,” or “I feel that way, too.” The response might indicate whether verbal explanations would be best, or if drawings or charts might better relay the message.

I relate visually. Don’t tell me how to drive to a destination; let me see it on a map. My ears don’t pick up the message nearly as well as my eyes. Others can rely solely on what they hear to follow direction or explanation.

Yes, I’m a sight person. Now, wouldn’t you think the Lord knew that when he put me together? When, before I was, as they say, a twinkle in my father’s eye, God knitted me in my mother’s womb and put all my parts in their proper order?

So would He not have planned that I see a path before me before expecting me to follow?

But I can’t see!

My life is a jumble right now. If it were the simple matter of having decisions to make—why, that would be a great help. I know, some people say, frantically, “which choice is right for me?” I say: “Which one…what?

I recall a story told by an old Christian woman who met the Lord as a young girl, when she actually saw—in the sky above her—her name written. Stopped dead in her tracks, while doing chores on her Midwest farm, she responded to the beckoning of God in the sky, and fell to her knees.

That pretty much describes what my reaction would have been, being a “sight” person and all.

Now, where is that “sky-writing” when I need it?

I don’t see choices in front of me. Yet still I rush headlong up a path filled with pitfalls and mazes and snares.

I know I must not fall into the snare of inertia. A body at rest tends to stay at rest, and if I can’t see ahead, it’s much easier to stay right where I am. I might be miserable where I am, but at least it’s a misery I’m familiar with—not being able to see the path ahead.

Oh, that’s right: I’m supposed to just put one foot in front of the other. Have you ever noticed how much easier that is to say than to do? (Another cliché comes to mind: when all is said and done, there’s much more said than done.)

“Lead me, Lord,” I pray. He answers, “I am. Follow me.”

“But I can’t see, Lord!”

“Tell me what you can see.”

“Nothing. I see nothing,” I whine.

“Look down,” comes His gentle voice.

There, in front of me, a footprint. Just one. One step ahead.

I’m afraid to take it. I want to see where it leads first.

I recall hearing an old hymn, “Lead, Kindly Light.” The author, a priest named John Newman, fell ill while traveling to share the gospel. His frustration led him to bitter tears. And to waiting on God for His leading. During this time he wrote the words to the hymn. These stanzas speak of the lesson he learned:

“Keep thou my feet, I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now, lead Thou me on!”

Lord, humbly now I ask: let me see one step ahead, and I—in faith—will follow.

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This article has been read 530 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Tina Leonard07/31/10
This is truly one of the biggest struggles many Christians have. We want to know where we are going, so we don't have to pay attention so closely. Isn't that the truth...in order to follow His leading we have to stay constantly sensitive to His guiding. He no longer appears as a pillar of fire or a cloud or an audible voice to our ears. He speaks softly to our spirit man and is a lamp unto our feet. Thanks for sharing this, great write.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/31/10
I can so relate to everything you've said. There have been times in my darkest days where I've screamed to the heavens, show me a sign. You helped me feel that I'm not alone and all I need to do is look for that one footstep at a time.
Caitlyn Meissner08/01/10
As a visual person myself, I really enjoyed reading this article. I, too, wish that I could see the path ahead of me more clearly. Isn't it wonderful how God challenges us with something new? Thank you!
Brenda Shipman 08/01/10
Loved the hymn stanza, the title (great!), and the message that, I'm sure, all of us can relate to at one time or another.
Rachel Phelps08/02/10
Really liked the way this wove together so well. Great work!
Beth LaBuff 08/02/10
I am a "sight" person, too... give me a map. :) You have some great thoughts in this!
Lollie Hofer08/04/10
I am a visual learner and visual teacher. I want to see what lies in front of me as well. This was a good lesson for me to remember...I don't need to have the entire map laid out before me...I just need to know where to take one step at a time. Thanks for sharing a great message.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/04/10
You expressed my same fears very well. I want to see God's will...and my family's faces, too.
Cheryl Harrison08/04/10
So true. I especially appreciated the following dialogue:

“Tell me what you can see.”

“Nothing. I see nothing,” I whine.

“Look down,” comes His gentle voice.

There, in front of me, a footprint. Just one. One step ahead.

This spoke to me. God's reminder that all he requires is one step at a time. Thanks for this.
Ruth Brown08/09/10
Wow, Kate! This was a wonderful piece. I really loved it. All so true, and most meaningful. God bless you as you write for Him! Ruth Brown.