Leap of Faith


(Based on a true story)
Faith is knowing the sun will rise, lighting each new day. Faith is knowing the Lord will hear my prayers each time I pray. (Children’s Songbook, page 96.)

“I went a little farther that time!” Lewis exclaimed, marking where he had landed with a stick. A new house was being built next door, and six-year-old Lewis loved playing in the big piles of dirt. He especially liked to jump off the top of a pile with his brother and see who could go the farthest. Jumping was the next best thing to flying, and Lewis wanted more than anything to be able to fly. Not just to ride in a plane—he’d done that lots of times with his dad in a little four-seat airplane—he wanted to fly like a bird. He thought about it all the time.

Last Sunday, Lewis had been given a lesson in Primary about faith. Sister Jones had said that if you have enough faith, you can do anything—even move mountains! Lewis didn’t want to move a mountain—he wanted to fly over one. He believed that Heavenly Father could help him do that just as easily. Lewis didn’t hear the rest of the lesson that day because he was dreaming about his first flight. He knew exactly how it would be. He would jump off something very high and dive to the earth. Just before he hit the ground, he would pull out of the fall with his arms spread out and glide above the earth, rising higher and higher. He could almost feel the wind in his hair and see the look of surprise on his brother’s face as he flew effortlessly over his head. Yes, it was going to be truly wonderful!

“Lewis,” Mom called from the house.

“Yes, Mom?” he replied from the top of the dirt pile.

“Grandma is here and wants to see you.”

Lewis jumped one more time, marked the spot where he landed, and rushed to the house. “Hi, Grandma. How was your trip?”

“Oh, it was great fun, Lewis. I brought you something.” She held up a small pair of flight attendant wings that she had received on her flight home.

“Wow! Thanks, Grandma!” He had wings! Now he knew he could fly. He pinned them to his shirt and ran outside to the dirt pile. Sure enough, he seemed to jump a little farther and a little higher. The problem, he thought, is that this hill is too small. If I could find something higher, I’m sure I could pull out before I hit the ground.

The next day, Dad took Lewis with him to a construction show. One of the companies there was producing new playground equipment, and Lewis saw the biggest jungle gym he’d ever seen. He grinned. Today was the day he was going to fly!

While his dad was busy talking to some other builders, Lewis pulled the flight attendant wings out of his pocket and pinned them to his shirt, then raced over to the jungle gym. He climbed to the very top bar—about fifteen feet high—and yelled, “Watch this, Dad!” He jumped off, completely unafraid. On the way down, his leg caught on a bar and he crashed to the ground.

Lewis’s leg was broken, and his body was bruised and scratched.

“Are you feeling better now?” Dad asked on the way home from the hospital.

“Dad,” Lewis sobbed, “I don’t understand. In Primary, my teacher said that if I had enough faith, I could do anything.”

“I see. Lewis, you need to understand something about faith. The scriptures say that faith is things which are hoped for which are true. If I believed with all my heart that the oceans are filled with spaghetti, it still wouldn’t be true. Faith in Jesus Christ is true because He really did come and die for us and He really does love you. Faith in the scriptures is true because the Lord really commanded the prophets to write them so we could read them and learn about Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father obeys natural laws, like gravity. Can you see the difference?”

“I guess so.”

Dad continued, “You will be able to fly, Lewis, but on this earth the way you have to do it is by following the natural laws. When you get a little older, you can take flying lessons and get a pilot’s license of your own. Now let’s go home and let that leg heal.”

Today Lewis is grown-up and flies high in the sky as an airline pilot. But he still dreams that the day will come when he will be able to fly through the clouds on his own.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Mark Robison