Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Present

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I don't know if you are like me, but sometimes I make my life more complicated than it needs to be especially when it comes to doing things for other people.

When someone is going through a hard time and I feel so moved to act, I say, I'll cook them dinner. Or I'll plan an outing for their children to get them out of the house. Or, I'll go take them flowers. But then of course, life happens as it does to all of us. I can't do that thing I had in my head. So, nothing happens at all.

And I miss an opportunity to do our word this week: to be present.

Present: being in a certain place. Or simply put showing up!

When I look back on my life and those moments where I felt really loved, it has everything to do with other person's "yes" of present.

They pulled in my driveway to chat when they saw me in the yard. Or he walked over at an event to have a conversation with me just because. Or she volunteered to ride with me to an appointment that she knew brought anxiety. That was it. Someone was present with me.

I knew in moments like this I was seen. I was loved. And I saw I was not alone.

I think it's important to note here that all of these moments didn't require bringing anything or prepping in any way. The requirement was being present.

Can you remember a similar experience in your life? Someone took time to be with you and you felt the love . . .

I keep going back to the wisdom of Jeanie Allen in her book, Find Your People in which she talks about the loneliness epidemic our world is facing. She offers this: “Here’s what we do: We spend hours alone in our crowded, noisy, screen-lit worlds, we invest only sporadic time with acquaintances, and then we expect close friends to somehow appear in our busy lives.” (Ouch, right?)

Being present for others is always an intentional act.

Because while it's true: it can feel less complicated to not get involved in other people's drama . . .

It can feel easier to do nothing when we can't do that big something . . .

It can be tempting to think being physically present for someone is not enough (my southern friends, we must bring a casserole when we show up, right?).

But being present for one another is what deep trust is built upon! And it is how love from our heart gets into the hearts of others. And when you do your part, bonds of true community are formed between you and the circles people around you.

Your perfect gesture isn't needed. Your people just need YOU.

So here's what I'd love you to do this week. Listen to the nudges of your heart. Then, stop by. Make a call. Or just show up. Your "yes" to present will mean more than you know. God will use your hands to love somebody who needs it.



P.S. And if you are looking for a faith community of the Christian tradition to be present in, I'd love to invite you to worship with mine today. You can find more about our 11 am EST service in Athens, GA here.