"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Gift of Presence

I found myself in an unusual place last week. All normal activity had stopped and I was temporarily deferred in a hospital waiting room while a loved one was having surgery. I've sat in such spaces on numerous occasions, but never in this role. I've been a daughter, a sister, a friend, even a Sunday School teacher; but last Friday, I was a wife. And what was suppose to be a two hour procedure ended up being more than five. Thankfully, the OR nurses were good about keeping me informed -- that "everything's going well but that it would be awhile yet."

In the meantime, family and friends came, sat, and waited with me. My own sweet daughter was there from the time they rolled her daddy out of the room until they rolled him back in almost eight hours later. But each person who came, regardless of how long they stayed, offered me what I knew in my head but not yet in experience: the gift of presence. Every last one of them had put aside all other activity of the morning, and just come to "be" with me. No one brought an agenda. All came empty handed. Their presence was enough.

And so on this dark and chilly November morning, I pull my warm legs from under the covers and place my feet on a cold floor. And with nothing more than a cup of hot Scotland black tea with a little cream and sugar warming my hands, I offer to Him my presence. Nothing more -- for the presence IS the gift.

Just an ordinary moment...

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