Look Closer

by | May 18, 2010 | Christmas, Jesus

What have you seen lately?

I mean what have you really seen?

The holidays are here and this year I took pride in getting ready for them earlier than I have ever had before. November 5th. That’s when I began thinking Christmas and doing Christmas things. I will admit that I thought, no I believed that this would be the year my son and his wife would be announcing the approaching birth of their first child.

That’s how I justified pulling decorations out of the attic and down into my living and dining room so early. I even placed a count down on my cell phone and marked it, “The best Christmas yet!”

As life would have it, it will not be the year of my son’s big announcement but it still will be the “Best Christmas yet!”


It’s simple. My son and I have this agreement. Whenever I ask him, “What was your best Christmas?” He always answers, “The next one.”

Yes, I surrounded myself with all the stuff of Christmas. But I never really saw it until yesterday.

That’s when I took the time to “look closer.”

I stopped. I’m always urging you to stop, too.

I’ve done it several times this year, but never really noticed until Sunday.

I suddenly became comfortable with the idea that the big day was approaching. I felt Christmas. So, I decided to really look at it.

I walked into my dinning room and turned on the Christmas carousel I placed on top of a book case. The music began to play and the carousel, ferris wheel and animated figures moved.

Then I decided to “look closer.”

I became one with it. Calling upon the child I keep hidden just below the surface, I began imagining I was one of the riders. Up and down and around I went. I could feel the cold wind in my face as I began to wave at the others watching nearby.

Then I turned to one of the many Santa displays I have. I could feel the warmth of the fireplace and smell the fresh cookies one of the elves was bringing to the jolly old man himself.

Not stopping there, I walked over to our tree and took the time to really see the dozens of ornaments we had recently hung on the fresh pine limbs.

“Hey, Bobby! Down here!” I heard in my head.

My O gauge Lionel train was waiting to leave the station.

“Whoooooooooo!” The whistle went and off they went.

Now, crawling on the floor I hurried over to the other side to see the skaters twirl around the pond and the police car passing by.

“Merry Christmas!” I shouted and they all returned the greeting.

As I always do, I responded to the urgency of sharing this moment with those I love. I called my son and left a message on his phone.

“This is some fatherly Christmas advice. Take time today and everyday to look closer. Get down and play with your train display. Stand before your tree and really look at each ornament you hung.”

When I turned around, Marianne and my two dogs, Ricky and Lucy, were waiting there on the floor for my return.

“Did you look?” I asked of her.

“Yes,” she replied.

“No. I mean did you really look?” I asked.

“Yes, I just boarded the train and I’m heading to the Rockies for a winter escape!” She assured me.

Afterwards, while basking in the glow of reds, greens and soft candle light, I thought about it all.

Yes, I began thinking about Christmas earlier than usual this year and I did indeed decorate my home. But I never really saw Christmas until Sunday.

“How many things in my life am I really not seeing?” I asked.

I am a father, but do I really see my children? I need to “look closer.”

I am a husband, but do I really see my wife?

I am employed by someone part of my time. But do I really see what it is I do?

I am a friend, but do I really “see” my friends? I do need to “look closer.”

I am a child of God. But do I really see God in my life and those He places within it? I need to “look closer.”

Take time to really examine every aspect of your life. Make a list of all the labels you place on who you are and ask yourself if you really “see” yourself and others.

If you are in search of love, look closer. You are loved.

If you are in search of friendship, look closer and see those who consider you one.

If you are in search of a better relationship with those in your family, look closer and see how really important they are.

If you can’t find Christmas this year, look closer. There in the manger, no, in your heart, you will find Him.

Everything you need, you have, if only you “Look Closer.”

Bob Perks 2believe@comcast.net


Look Closer