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"All eyes on the hidden door", she said.

She stood in front of the huddled group, in the midst of the outcrop, before the flat rock face. The steep slope fell behind them all; their ropes remained. Any one of them could have given up and gone down, easily enough, yet none of them had. Yet none of them were going forward, either.

"All eyes on are on us," she said. "All eyes look up to us."

 She whirled to face the group, who cowered before her gaze. "Look, damn you!" She gestured to the green valley below. "You want comfort, you want safety, you want security. I want freedom to walk amidst the cold wind. I want the goodness that comes from free choice, so that it means something." The wind blew fiercely, yet she did not waver. "I want God to know that it was my choice," she said, "that I was able to choose rightly even as I shivered in the howling wind."

 She gestured to the flat rock face. "Look, why don't you," she said,  "at the hidden door. It's not hidden if you're looking. You don't want to see because you don't want to risk. You don't want to risk your position for the sake of the unknown." She strode up the rock face. "But I want that risk," she said. "I want that danger. I can only sing if I am risking myself for that danger. There is no verse except in adversity. There is no story, except in conflict. Comfort is the end of all story. Security is the end of all striving.

She looked down at the valley. "Eyes on us, then," she said. "They watch from their supposedly safe place as we rise, and as we fall, and rise again, fall again, rise again, perhaps at last to stay upright. See us as we risk, we venture, and we blunder, we sin for the sake of holiness, we stumble in our quest for solid ground. We see sin. We see human beings, not only at their best but at their worst, not only at their worst but at their best. We venture to know them, to understand them, and we realize some of them breathe fire, and we are burned, we learn some of them are chill to the bone, and we freeze in their embrace; we laugh with the best of them, cry great salt lakes with the kindest of them, sing merry songs with the loudest of them. We sin for the sake of knowing them.

"Follow my lead, why don't you." She waved the group forward. "Come on. Whatever's behind this door, and I think you know what it is, we can't stay here forever. You can either go down and hide beneath the rocks, and leave me to grab all the glory -- or all the death, as the case might be. Or you can follow me. Which will it be?"

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