Right In Front of Your Nose

He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” John 20:15 (NIV)

Mary approached the tomb. Something was off. It was still dark but through the gray she could see the stone wasn’t where it should be. It had been rolled away. With all the chaos and trauma surrounding Jesus’ death, thoughts were racing through her head. Had the religious leaders done this? Who would want to steal his body? Who would even touch a dead body? That would make them unclean. Maybe they paid someone. If they took him, where did they take him?

As these thoughts raced through her head, she turned to leave and almost ran into the man standing there. He asked why she was crying and then followed up by asking who she was looking for. She didn’t even recognize him. The very person she went to find in the first place was speaking to her and she was missing it.

My husband says I do this. He’ll ask me a question and my mind is somewhere else. I wait many seconds, what most would call a pregnant pause, and then answer. It’s been so long he thinks I’m not even going to respond. Suddenly, my brain catches up with my hearing and I recognize that I missed something.

Ever been there? You have a problem and you have been staring at it so long you forget to come up for air. You forget to look around and see what may be right in front of your face. Sometimes we have to snap ourselves out of that place. The place where we’re down in the rabbit hole and stuck. How? Refocus. Refocus on something else God has placed in your path. Could be him. Could be another relationship, a Bible text, a song or even a beautiful spring day. Take a moment, breathe deep and refocus.

As Jesus said her name, Mary refocused and knew who it was who was trying to get her attention. It was the very person she was seeking. As it dawned on her that the answer to her problem had already been provided, she ran off exclaiming “I’ve seen him! I’ve seen him!”

We will do the same. God’s surprises and answers come in many different shapes and sizes – and sometimes, they come in the person of Jesus talking to us. One thing is for sure. When we hear him, we too will run around exclaiming “I’ve seen him!” because when you do, you can’t hold it in.

–Elaine Kapetanakis (

Written by Diane Levy


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