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Wide-angle Lens
Photo: Erika Thorpe
It was months before I even laid eyes on the Gateway Arch. Partly due to the weather and partly due to the fact we live south of the city, I just never got around to heading downtown. Going downtown wasn’t a priority because I assumed the area to be overcrowded and under maintained, but I was in for a surprise.

My inaugural trip to downtown St. Louis was as a passenger with a long-time resident. Tammy had fun showing me the sights and loved watching me soak in the views of the pristine area between the train station and the arch. We shared the roadway with white carriages being pulled by horses and bumped along on some of the quaint cobblestone streets that were lined with cute shops. Beautiful flowers were in abundance. I was hooked.

So, last Sunday evening I drove down by myself, after having read about the Arch online. It was an easy 20-minute ride and I wondered why I’d taken so long to venture north. 


The Gateway Arch is the tallest national monument in the United States and was completed in 1965. Each year, more than 1 million visitors ride to the top. I wasn’t prepared for how huge it was up close. The span of the Arch’s legs at ground level is 630 feet, the same as its height. I brought my fancy digital SLR camera and kept backing up the get “the” shot. Unfortunately, I don’t own a wide-angle lens. Although the grounds are extensive, when I reached the street, I still couldn’t see the entire arch through my viewfinder. I crossed the street and walked to the steps of the old courthouse. Still no luck. I walked beyond the courthouse and finally, I could take it all in.

How often do I walk through life seeing only through my telephoto lens, just squinting and never taking it all in through wide open eyes. My prayer is that I will learn to see the big picture. “Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions” (Psalm 119:18).

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By Dee Litten Reed. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION © 1996.

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