The Gift Of Presence


She was in and out. Less than 48 hours. We had company during that time, so there was little chance to talk.

My daughter, Melody, has done her share of traveling this past year. Her job requires on-site meetings that take her away from home for short periods of time.

Short spurts are what her two kids can handle right now.

After picking her up from the airport, we were on FaceTime with her family in DC. Her daughter, Sloane, a savvy three-year-old, was quite expressive of her feelings.

“I miss you, Mommy. Come home.”

Melody’s presence mattered. She’d only been gone three hours at that point, and she was already missed.

Her presence mattered here as well. She’s part of a team designing the parts for a large conference we’re holding in a year and a half. Her input is valued. Face time with people she’s working with is valuable. Being in the room together is more efficient and effective.

Wanting to take advantage of opportunities together, the rest of the family that’s local came by for dinner.

Being with one another was important. Talking, laughing, sharing what’s going on, being vulnerable with one another–so much easier in person than over text or phone.

Presence matters.

When my kids were all playing soccer, one of the biggest encouragements to each of them was that one of us would show up at their games. With six kids on six different teams, it was a challenge. John and I were rarely at games together, and sometimes we’d have to leave early to fit another game in. But we often managed to see some of every game.

Presence matters.

When each of my kids has become parents, I’ve managed to be present to help out with the new transitions, if only for a short time. Doing laundry, shopping, making a few meals isn’t something that can be accomplished long-distance.

Presence matters.

I coach people for my job, something I thoroughly enjoy. I have the opportunity to sit with them as they process thoughts, ask the tough questions, work with them through assessments, and often just hug them to remind them they have value.

Presence matters.

God enjoys my presence. He loves when I choose to sit with Him, pour out my heart to Him. He’s the best listener and doesn’t judge me for my bad attitudes or worse ideas. He works with me through them. I never have to wonder if He is with me for He’s promised never to leave me.

I wander from Him as if it was my job.

He never wanders from me.

My presence matters.

To Him.

I’m not that attentive. I get busy. Life overwhelms. I work hard at fixing myself. I act like I’ve got it all together.

I don’t.

Because I am His, God is present with me no matter how I feel about Him. No matter how much time I do or don’t spend with Him.

I imagine Melody’s return home was amazing. She’s loved well.

We all are if we give God a chance to love us.

Giving Him the freedom to love me, even in my mess, matters.

It’s the only thing that matters eternally.







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