A good pair of binoculars can help me get close to nature. I can view up-close the details on
a bird's wing, the nest in the top of the highest tree, or a flight of geese way up in the sky.
Yet, if I look through those same binoculars at my reflection in the mirror, I can't see
anything. Everything is out of focus. I'm too close.

I can try reading a book with my nose only an inch from the page, but I can't focus. In fact,
have to hold anything I read these days at quite a distance in order to get my eyes to focus.
f it's too close, I can't even make out one letter.

There are other ways of being too close to see. If I stand right up against a mural and try to
take in the breathtaking artwork, I can only see the details in the brush strokes, not the
beauty in the art. I can't take it all in when I'm that close, and most art is designed to be
enjoyed from a little distance. It loses something when viewed up-close.

Sometimes, things are just too big to see them up-close. Standing at the base of a massive
redwood tree, it's impossible to see the entire tree from there. All I can see is the bark next to
my face, the texture of the wood, and the fact that the tree seems to reach up all the way
into Heaven, for I can't see the top. I'm too close.

Grief is too big to see up close. I can't stand back and get out of it for it surrounds me, and
because it's so close, it becomes like that giant redwood tree. I can't see where it ends, and
it appears as if it will go on forever.

Because grief hurts and seems now to be endless, it's easy for despair and hopelessness to
settle in. If I could only step back for a moment and realize it's not endless, maybe I could
handle it easier. If I could view it from God's eternal perspective, maybe it would diminish in
my sight to a tolerable level.

I cry out, "Where is God?" and I wonder if He has deserted me in my greatest time of need,
as my grief makes me feel so vulnerable and alone. The tears stream down my cheeks as I
seek Him for comfort and peace to get through the days and nights.

God grieves with me as He holds me close in His loving hands. I can't see Him, but I can feel
His love and peace as it surrounds and enfolds me, even in my grief. I know He hasn't left
my side, for He promises to be with me always. So maybe, just maybe, He is just too close
for me to see. Maybe He holds me in the hollow of His hands, so close to his loving face,
that the tears I feel rolling down my cheeks are actually His own.
Too Close To See
©  Ferna Lary Mills
Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.
~ Hebrews 13:5
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