In the crazy, busy, over-committed, and hyper media world we live in, I think we have lost the value in presence. The dictionary defines it as “the state or fact of existing, occurring, or being present in a place or thing.” We might call it just being there. I think for many of us we get too wrapped up in life and we forget sometimes the thing people need the most is just us. They just need us to sit and listen or invite us into the craziness. I have this dear friend who used to just let me come over and hang out. She never cleaned her house or re-arranged her schedule for me, she just said I could come over. And I would sit on her couch or on her floor and chat and play with her kids and change dirty diapers. She poured more into my life than so many people and her example left a permanent imprint on me. She was simply there.
Trust me, I could be the first to come up with a million excuses why this is tough and I know we all have priorities and families and there is only so much time in a day, but lately, I have been taking a hard look at my planner and really evaluating how I am spending my time. Am I creating space and time to just be there for those in my life? This point has been impressed on me so strongly lately because I have spent some time just hanging out in a very unlikely place.
Twice a month, I sit at a tall table with two of my dear friends and we just exist. In a place very few in our shoes would willingly venture. In the dark corners of a strip club we just hang out. And I am learning the only thing I have to do is just show up. I don’t have to dress up or have the perfect hair. I don’t have to have my life together or have the right words to say. All I have to do is sit on that chair. And something about just being there communicates more than 1,000 thoughts or dollars or insults ever could. Honestly, most of the time we walk away and have barely said more than a few words. And I am learning the point is not the words you say or the location, the point is you showed up. And you keep showing up. Your presence communicates 1,000 things before you even open your mouth.
So let’s all work on showing up, being there, and inviting others into our lives. How amazing we can go to Christ with all our mess, why shouldn’t we be able to go to each other as well?