Would you agree? There are just some people that their presence in a room can make a difference? There is something about them -- their integrity, the way that they engage with others, the way they make others feel special.
They are open to relationship.
They are willing to be real.
They are safe.
They draw you out of yourself and help you to see your value.
They are honest.
They love you for who you are.
They are like Jesus.
They are “present people,” and they are a gift.
In a season where lists of “things to do and presents to buy” for others roll through my head like semi-trucks rolling down a highway, I’ve been thinking about “presents” vs “presence.”
God works through our having a very present presence in people’s lives. We can comfort others, encourage others, bring joy to others, and help others to see their value. Sometimes it’s just being in the room that can make all the difference, other times, it’s taking intentional time. It can happen when we are physically present and it can happen when we are emotionally present through a hand written note, a sympathetic ear at the other end of a telephone, through an e-mail or through a smile.
I love people but I can get distracted with the demands of the season (or of life) and I forget that the most important thing I can do is not give a present (although I do enjoy that) but give more of myself. I’m trying not to get too caught up in the details of the day, and make sure that I am following God’s lead on whom He wants me to check in with, spend time with and love on, or maybe even give a gift to.
Giving a present of our presence -- a very present presence. Blessing one person at a time, as the Lord leads. Blessing the person He places in front of us, not just by being there, but being emotionally engaged -- having our hearts open to the heart of another. Loving one another as the Lord loves us. I’m working on it and enjoying it. How about you?
What do you think? Can we tend to substitute presents for presence? Why? Is the risk greater in being present? Are we fearful of rejection in the process?