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To show that it is possible to believe in some things that we cannot actually see.

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To show that it is possible to believe in some things that we cannot actually see.

Preparation and materials

  • An OHP/whiteboard would be useful in order to read the poem together.
  • Collect some easily recognizable items in a box, such as a banana, an orange, a teddy bear, a book (as many objects as you feel time will allow).


  1. Begin by making a few statements that contradict what can be seen. Look out of the window and remark on the exact opposite weather conditions. Talk about the colour of your clothes (not the correct one, of course!). The children will no doubt be quick to correct you! Ask them how they can tell that you are wrong.
  2. Bring their attention to the box. Describe each object, to see if they can guess what items are in it. Produce the items as they guess correctly. Ask them why they think they are able to identify those things. It should be established that they are able to guess correctly because they have seen them before and know exactly what they look like.
  3. Tell this story. One boy was showing another a birthday present he had just been given. It was a lovely red model racing car. The second boy examined it and said, ‘You should see my car. It’s remote control and is much bigger than yours.’ The first boy was surprised and asked if he could see this wonderful car. ‘I’ve left it at my grandma’s,’ was the reply. ‘Oh,’ said the first boy. ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.’
  4. How many of us say that? We do not believe things unless we can actually see them. We feel our eyes are the best judge of whether something is real or not. However, that is not always the case. How many of you have seen a conjuror perform amazing tricks? They seem to make things appear and disappear. They can tear up a five pound note or smash a watch in front of your very eyes, then later produce them again in one piece! They can make coins appear out of thin air, and make people disappear or even seem to cut them in half! They have ways of deceiving our eyes.

    When we are in school we usually cannot see our homes or our families, but we are confident that they will be there at the end of the day.

    Our eyes are not always the best way to know if something is real. We know that gravity exists but we cannot see it. Common sense tells us that we shouldn’t jump off a high building or out of an aeroplane without a parachute. We know that there is air all around us, because without it we could not breathe, but we cannot see it.
  5. If time allows this is an opportunity to tell the story of doubting Thomas (John 20.24–29). He refused to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he could touch the wounds that Jesus had received when he was crucified.

Time for reflection


Seeing is believing, that’s how it tends to be.

We know that things can still be there, though some we cannot see.

Such things exist that can’t be seen, like gravity and air.

Because we know they’re all around we’re sure they’re really there.

Some people have a faith in God – though God they cannot see.

What are the things that can’t be seen that matter most to me?



Dear God,

Thank you for seeing:

Seeing with our eyes,

seeing with our hearts,

and seeing through faith.



‘Can you be sure that the rain will fall?’ (Come and Praise, 31)

Publication date: March 2008   (Vol.10 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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