The Ant and The Contact Lens

This is a repost of an old one I did. I ran across it and still like the message. Like I said, sometimes I just need to hear things a few times to get it. Maybe that’s true for you also.

Sorting through some old papers I had stashed away, today I came upon this story I had printed out from an email I received on October 11, 2004. The original source for the story is the book Keep A Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot, published in 1995. It became attributed to Josh and Karen Zarandona when they passed it on in an email. Supposedly, the original story came to Ms. Elliot from a Brenda Foltz, of Minnesota.

I found the story just as thought provoking as I did in October of 2004. I really wish that I were writing this story as an illustration of a moment and a revelation that changed my life. Unfortunately, having a penchant for truth, I’ll confess that did not happen. I wish it had. Sometimes I need to be reminded – over and over – of the lessons I need to learn in life. I share this with you in that spirit. I suppose most of you may have seen this in the past, but perhaps a few of you, like me, could enjoy it again.

The Ant and the Contact Lens

Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing.

Although she was scared to death, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took hold of the rope, and started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda’s eye and knocked out her contact lens. Well, here she is on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn’t there.

Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it.  When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff. She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible verse that says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.” She thought, “Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me.”

Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, “Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?” Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it. Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, “Lord, I don’t know why You want me to carry this thing. I can’t eat it, and it’s awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I’ll carry it for You.”

At the risk of being accused of being fatalistic, I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, “God, I don’t know why you me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it’s awfully heavy.  But, if you want me to carry it, I will.” God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

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197 Responses to The Ant and The Contact Lens

  1. Greg1 says:

    Sundance, thanks for posting this.

    Amwick, thanks for posting “When God sends you help, don’t ask questions”.

    This is an unusual Sunday morning. I am not at Church. Neither is my Mom. She had a surgery earlier in the week and I came home to be with her. We lost Dad in April. Stories like these sure do provide inspiration and thought, and in the case of “don’t ask questions”, a pretty good laugh!

    As I get time I will go through the comments on this thread and read them to Mom as I did the stories I mentioned. I suspect Mom will enjoy a bunch of them.

    You just never know how inspirational stories and comments might contribute to healing………..

    Thanks, y’all.

    Liked by 15 people

    • Gil says:

      Please ALWAYS ALWAYS check who posts.
      Although SD is the main contributor, this is NOT his contribution.
      Please say Thank You to MENAGERIE. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      • Greg1 says:

        Excellent point. I missed that rather important detail, thank you for pointing that out to me.

        Menagerie, I’m sorry I didn’t pay attention to who it was that made the post about the ant and contact lens. This was an excellent post, I read it to my Mom who is recuperating from surgery and she enjoyed it immensely. I will be sending a link to this story to some friends, it is most excellent.

        Please post more items such as this, they inspire thought and brighten the day!



        Liked by 4 people

    • Carrie2 says:

      So beautiful and so true. My connection is always thru St. Anthony of Padua and our Lady to push threw when I need God’s help.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. azchick says:

    I just read the article and comments and I’m awestruck with such thoughtful sincere post. I invited my 93 yoa mother to move in with me almost 1 year ago because the rest of he family was so busy going to church they couldn’t find time to help her. I’ve been a bit resentful at times and hugely grateful that I’ve been given this opportunity to care for her from my heart. I’m not her caretaker but her “handmaiden”. Water is running down my face now at how lucky I am to have her with me.
    Thanks SD and ALL the treepers for reminding me I don’t need all the answers and am totally incapable of the task. I love you all.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Carrie2 says:

      But also shouldn’t stop you from going to church and seek out neighbors to assist that short time in church.


    • Rhi says:

      Bless you azchick, lost my mom one year ago. Love your mom all you can while you can. The Lord never lays on us more than we can handle. He told us ‘be of good cheer for l have overcome the world’.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. 🍺Gunny66 says:

    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

    It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
    We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
    gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

    Actually, who are you not to be?
    You are a child of God.

    Your playing small does not serve the world.
    There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
    so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
    We are all meant to shine, as children do.

    We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
    It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

    And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
    other people permission to do the same.
    As we are liberated from our fear,
    our presence automatically liberates others.

    “Marianne Williamson”

    Liked by 8 people

    • Rhi says:

      Beautiful Gunny, a sermon right there! Bless you brother!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Carrie2 says:

      So many beautiful items we get on this blog and I use them again and again. The poem we got a few days ago I copied and sent out to everyone and the responses are great and the poem is going even further. If I remember it was Gen’l Patton starting the poem. Now I can send this out as well to encourage that we are a Republic and we will win against Satan and his followers if we believe n our God and His love his creations.


    • TreeperInTraining says:

      Like, Gunny.



  4. golsono says:

    Brilliant post. We so often don’t know why we carry a load, but sense it is needed, and would not have been put in our path without purpose.
    God Bless all

    Liked by 4 people

    • Carrie2 says:

      May I suggest each of us pray today for those many who have hard times and heavy loads that God hear and relieve them of these burdens. We are the carriers now!

      Liked by 3 people

  5. mr.piddles says:

    Fantastic message, haven’t seen this one before. Thanks, Managerie, for the great post. And THANK YOU Sundance and team..


    Liked by 3 people

  6. bertdilbert says:

    And just like that, Gulliver came along and snatched up what was to have been a bathtub for the queen ant. Boy was that an angry ant!

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Southcentralpa says:

    I have always wanted to rip out the car stereo and throw it out the window, “Better Off Dead”-style when the Garth Brooks song “Unanswered Prayers” comes on. When our unborn daughter was diagnosed in utero with Trisomy 18, we prayed fervently for a miracle. She died after a brave two-day struggle. Over time, we learned not that our prayer wasn’t answered, but merely that the answer was a gentle ‘no’. Always remember, G-d answers ALL prayers …

    Liked by 3 people

    • TreeClimber says:

      I’m so sorry. We almost lost our son, and right before him I had a miscarriage. I know the pain. I’m so sorry. ♥♥♥♥

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for sharing & what a blessing to have gotten Two Days with your daughter. I’ve known several couples who lost a pregnancy days before delivery who would have given anything to have had Any Time with a living child. While wrestling with my own challenges with a newborn significantly disabled son I heard a testimony on Christian radio of a family who were pregnant with a baby not expected to survive. This family fervently prayed for God to give their child “the breath of life”. The baby was born, gasped one breath & immediately died. That family said that God Had answered their prayer (thought not in the way they wanted) & they were so thankful for that one breath in this world & looked forward to a joyful reunion with this beloved child in the world to come.

      Not having trod any of those paths I can only relate from afar, especially when ever my special needs son has faced intense surgeries (open heart, brain tumor, & liver transplant)…or the one middle of the night ER run when I thought he was dying gasping for breath…We hold our loved ones so loosely knowing that every moment is a gift & the next breath is never guaranteed.

      May the Lord continue to minister grace & peace to you and your family as you remember & reflect & perhaps even rejoice in your daughter’s life…& loss. God’s peace be yours…


  8. Burma Shave says:

    Thank you, Menagerie.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. For Eyes says:

    Let God be God. He has more experience at it and is more qualified.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pete says:

    Thanks. I definitely needed that.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. mike says:

    Sundance, are you having some introspection? You carry quite a load yourself and a lot of people here admire your work and the things you write. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 300 says:


    About 10 years ago my family was in turmoil. I had been married about 15 years with 4 children. I worked away from home sometime for 60 days or more. I was finally able to find work closer to home and truly saw what a disaster had befallen my family. I had been told by friends my wife had started using Meth which I refused to believe. My income was well into 6 figures but we had little, I was called away from work on multiple occasions just to go buy groceries for the kids and would be furious that my wife would not do this simple task. Every time I came through the door it was a nuclear meltdown. On my sons 8th birthday I got the call. Mom won’t get out of bed to take my son and his friends to laser tag. I get home at 6pm to find her in bed unresponsive. I thought she was faking as she was prone to do to avoid taking responsibility. A few hours later we called the ambulance after I found the Meth in her contact case. She had taken so much meth is caused 2 vessels in her brain to rupture. She is in ICU for 2 months and then spent 6 months in rehab learning to walk and talk. I had to quit my job to take care of the kids and was living on savings. I did some part time work but it wasn’t enough.I struggled with my ignorance of not knowing or not wanting to know. How could I have been so blind. I divorced her. All the years of turmoil suddenly made sense. I carried on by myself for 2 years struggling to keep my family afloat. I prayed but had no faith, I asked questions but got no answers. It seemed as though everyone had abandoned me. I went to the ATM one February day I had $1.38 to my name, I broke. For a few days I gave up, the burden was too heavy, the road too long. It had been about 5 years of constant turmoil. I had been in my bedroom for a while wallowing in guilt but I continued to pray.My children the only light in my life. Slowly things started to change.My X wife started to get better and came to find Christ. I was able to return to work full time and we started talking.again. The road straightened the burden became lighter. We remarried. All of our kids are grown and on doing great. We are building a new home and she just walked by my recliner, gave me a smile and rubbed my feet. I still have a jar with the $1.38 in it to remind to to be thankful for the little things. $1.38 wont buy much but in can buy you much needed clarity.

    The Ant.

    Liked by 12 people

  13. Lepanto says:

    This story is reminiscent of the legend of Saint Francis Xavier’s crucifix. After losing it in the ocean, he arrived in Malucca. There, he found a crab, crawling up the beach, carrying the crucifix in its claw.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. AWESOME.
    And I really needed to hear it right now, Menagerie, thank you so much!


  15. LOL. I love this story especially the word of the ant. Thank you.


  16. So … we’re Paying it Forward. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  17. TreeClimber says:

    Went to my sister’s and brother-in-law’s house yesterday to help paint. Husband’s been out of work for a couple months now, our son isn’t ready to wean yet. On the way there our transmission failed. 45 seconds from my sister’s house, my husband got the phone call he’s been waiting on for three weeks, to tell him he did/n’t get the job. He didn’t. All yesterday and that night I was horribly sick. Yesterday my mother and her boyfriend had an epic fight and now he’s drinking and she’s at my sister’s house.

    I needed this today. Because we’re having a rather hard time now, and it feels like all I have is my faith.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 300 says:

      My prayer going out to you Tree, may the lord calm your waters and clear your skies. May he keep and bless your family, The healing power of his mighty hand give you strength.

      In Jesus name

      Liked by 4 people

    • SalixVeridi says:

      You feel as if you are in a whirlwind. I understand. If you can, purchase this book:
      “God in the Dark” by Sarah Van Diest. It is inspiring. Remember the words, “This too, shall pass.”


    • mike says:

      Shoot treeclimber I’ve been there and so have many of us. You aren’t alone. There was 2 things I learned from going through a living hell. One was that the best diamond goes thru the hottest fire. Two was the old tale about the man who looked back on his life and he was walking on a beach with Jesus. There were 4 footprints until the bad times hit, then there were only 2 footprints. ‘Good Lord,’ he cried, ‘why did you desert me in my greatest hour of need?’ And the Lord replied ‘I didn’t desert you, I was carrying you then!’

      Just keep plugging away, one day, one hour at a time. Nobody said life was easy. Here’s another one I hope helps you even tho it might not pertain to your particular situation. Suffering is nature’s way of telling us to quit doing dumb things.


      • josco scott says:

        Or one minute at a time!

        Just cleared out our storage unit that we needed b/c disastrous financial problems, including foreclosure of our beautiful dream house, repo of family car, loss of career, loss of business… the children we’d never really wanted did all the work, paid for the moving truck…

        So God gave us everything we didn’t ask for but not what we cared about. Pretty sure He knew what was best…


  18. cmcallm says:

    Hike scene from the movie “The Peaceful Warrior” that shares three good rules to remember: Paradox, Humor and Change.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Jimmy Jack says:

    Thank you for that message. And thank you for being conscientious enough to get that attribution right. Nobody does that anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. cmcallm says:

    “The Peaceful Warrior”


  21. How beautiful a story. Be still and know is a lesson I have been practicing for some time thanks to a 90 year old beautiful person Roy Masters. Explore for your self at line. Weekly discussions on how to be still and know. God bless every tree per. I am so grateful to have found a branch here.

    Liked by 2 people

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