This is an ongoing theme for me. Being present. I love to visit people. Our home was open and welcoming when I was growing up and I am enjoying the beginnings of entertaining in our new space all decked out for Christmas. Tomorrow I’m visiting a friend and hopefully catching a glimpse of her new granddaughter. I’ll take a card and some homemade bread and celebrate the season, the miracle of birth and the endurance of friendship all at once.
Presence seems to be a dying art in American culture. I realize this makes me sound VERY old! But in support, let me illustrate with a picture from last Friday’s lunch out with my sometimes Friday off hubby. We went to the nearby park with the dog. It was a beautiful, if brisk, day. The river was fast and full. We all enjoyed the outing and brought the dog back so we could try the new burger joint that just opened in the local marketplace. The burgers were delicious! The music was loud for a fairly small seating area, but what caught my eye were these two gentlemen seated across a small table from each other having lunch. As they were clearly finished eating both ended up on their phones talking with other people. I can’t even tell if this will be shocking to anyone else. But it was to me. I discussed this with the oldest M who said he was relieved I hadn’t discovered them openly expressing an alternate lifestyle so the phone thing was preferable for him.
Seriously?! We take presence so for granted that we are openly rude to someone willing to spend time with us. I’m not saying I don’t check my phone if it rings while I’m out. But unless you’re my kids, or my parents, with an emergency I can’t see ignoring the person I’m with to have a chat. I wonder if we would have noticed Jesus at all should he be born amid the commercialism that has become Christmas. Maybe if you could follow his birth on YouTube…but I digress.
Presence is so important because it is what we need. We need it from the people who love us and the Lord who made us. It is so necessary to our lives that in order for us to have it God was born as a baby boy in a stable in the Middle East. He came to grow up under Roman rule, in a world ruled by the Prince of Darkness and to overcome the darkness with His light. This required a perfect life, an excruciating death, going to hell and coming back expunging the sin of those who He has chosen along the way.
May you be present for those who you love, and those God is bringing into His light this season! Blessings.