I have a fear of heights, also called acrophobia.
I do not have a severe form of it I don’t think but I have at times in my life not been able to do things involving heights for my fear.
This fear keeps me from walking up staircases that are too high or walkways that are elevated and have open sides. I avoid steep steps and once while in Chicago I backed out when I was to get on an escalator with glass sides. I could see the floors far below and the floors high above. So I opted for stairs, narrow stairs in a closed corridor.
But once I accomplished a great achievement in spite of my fear of heights. It was not easy. In fact, up until that day, I had no inclination to do it and if someone said I was going to do it, I would have said “No way!” I walked across and back the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. That was quite an accomplishment for me.
Charlie, Buffy and I were in San Francisco and we saw the people walking as we drove over the Gold Gate Bridge. So it was two against one — I was outvoted to join the scores of people on the bridge. Some people were walking, some were riding bicycles and a few were even pushing strollers with children. Charlie and Buffy were for it but I sized up the height and felt the wind and I was scared.
I can back that up biblically. The wise man wrote in Ecclesiastes 7:18: “A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it.”
The reality of the Golden Gate Bridge was that it was high, it was windy, there was nothing below us but water, and the railing by the sidewalk was only about four feet high. I was petrified.
I decided that I could not dampen the whole event for Charlie and Buffy so I put my fear of heights aside. We parked our car on one side of the bridge in the public parking area. Then I dared not think about what was under me as I started the long walk across the bridge.
As I got further across, I was caught up in the view. I could see for miles and miles, all of San Francisco and a wide view of the Bay Area. No fear, just the sight before me: The expansive sky, the water below, miles of coastline and the ocean that had no end as far as I could see.
I saw God’s handywork in the trees and growth of the countryside and His hand in the great expanse of the water below me. It was as if God was all around me. It seemed that the Creator of the entire universe was more evident from my vantage point and my fear was gone.
When I was a little girl, I thought there was a good possibility that I could just catch a glimpse of God in the sky. In my childlike mind, I relied on my sight thinking or physical eyes that I would see God.
I didn’t see God that day on the bridge. I saw clouds and people and the ocean and felt the wind.
But while on the bridge, I saw evidence of Him. I saw His handiwork so beautifully recorded for us in Genesis.
I didn’t have to search the sky. I felt God’s presence and saw Him by faith. He was there.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: