Look Up



I sit alone, surrounded by my problems. I look around, and they are there, silent, watching me. They are silent monsters that haunt me, that keep me up at night. I try staring straight ahead, ignoring them, but there’s a big one right in front of me. It looks at me with large, menacing eyes as if it’s challenging me. “Just try; try to defeat me,” it says with its look.

I decide to ignore them. I close my eyes, pretending that there is nothing wrong, but they’re there in my thoughts. I can’t escape. When I open my eyes, they seem bigger, closer. I stand. Maybe there’s some way I can get away from all of them. But my heart sinks. There are even more than I thought. I turn in a circle, but they are everywhere, surrounding me. My problems stretch out as far as I can see. They all stand there quietly, watching. Waiting.

I must get away from my problems. I take a step; then feel a tugging on my leg. With panic I realize that one has gotten hold of me. It’s a particularly ugly problem, hideous to look at. I pull, but it won’t let go. It’s not letting me go anywhere. I yell in effort, and pull my foot from its grasp. I start running. If I’m fast enough, they won’t be able to catch me. I can get away from them.

The minute I think that I might have a chance, I trip on a small one. I didn’t even see it was there. I crash to the ground. I scream when I feel them pressing in, almost suffocating me. I turn on my back, trying to fight them off of me. “Help me!” I cry, reaching for something-- anything that could save me.

Now on my back I can see straight up. Someone is standing up there. He’s out of focus, but I know I’m not seeing things. Yet how can he be standing in the sky? For a minute I forget about my situation and just stare at the figure in the clouds. He slowly comes into focus. His face is kind and he stretches out his hand toward me.

Somehow I pull myself up off the ground and stand to my feet, not breaking eye contact with the person in the sky. He looks so peaceful, so unworried. He is above all problems. I take a step toward Him, then another. I am surprised to feel no resistance and glance down. All my problems are still there, and the minute I look back at them, they start moving in. A little one even grabs hold of my leg again.

I desperately shake my leg trying to get it off, and look back up. The minute I see Him, my panic subsides and I feel the problem slipping off. I decide I won’t let this figure out of my sight again, and keeping my eyes on Him, I continue to walk toward Him.

I continue to walk toward Him. And with time, I leave some problems behind. With time, new ones show up in my path. Sometimes I get distracted and look behind me or try to glance ahead. At times I trip, and the problems grow, take hold of me, and start suffocating me again. But I always look back up, look to Him, and they fade away.

I know that someday all my problems will cease, but until then, I keep my gaze on my savior, the man reaching toward me, guiding me through life. He is the only thing above it all, untouched. He’s the only thing that can save me. So I look up and continue to walk toward Him.

© 2020 by Nancy E Wood