Home > Miscellaneous > Loving With Your Presence

Loving With Your Presence

Life is hard sometimes.  It just is.  There are a lot of factors that mediate how difficult it is for each individual, like: socioeconomic status, the way one handles stress, personality differences, belief systems, faith, humility, selfishness, and other factors related to individual differences at both the circumstantial and inherent levels.  Some people are better off than others, but the ultimate reality is that sometimes life is hard for everyone.  It’s just a part of living in this fallen place.

That’s where we come in. We, as in, other members of humanity. When people are in those hard parts of life, those painful moments that feel overwhelming, overpowering, and life consuming, it is our job and privilege as fellow humans a part of the same messed up world to be with someone in their pain. People existing in the worst conditions need to know that there are others around them who refuse to let them be alone in their worst conditions. People in pain need to have someone there in those moments of hopelessness to be an empathetic presence who will stand, sit, or walk beside them through whatever comes or whatever is. There is something deeply powerful about someone who is willing to share the most painful of human experiences with someone else, not because they have to, but because they love powerfully.

When I can’t find the way out of my pain, I just want you to be close to me. It’s okay if you don’t know what to say. It’s okay if you don’t have advice or if you have too much advice. It’s okay if you say nothing at all. It’s okay if you touch me too much or not enough. I just want to know that you are near. I just want to know that you care about my experience, my pain. It doesn’t matter to me if you don’t completely understand, what matters is that I know you want to understand and you’re trying to understand. I want to know that you are with me in this moment. That your body, mind, and soul are present and available.

Open yourself up. Open your time up. Open up your schedule. Open up your heart. Share yourself with someone else. With anyone else. They want to know that someone else knows what is like to be human and that someone else is willing to be human alongside them. This world is full of people frightened to be sharers of themselves with someone else. Lots of people will listen and hurrily get their own word in. Lots of people will tell things about themselves and their lives that suck. Lots of people will express frustrations. Few people will actually give of themselves, actually do more than verbal expression, but actually share who they are with someone else. We need this sort of connection. We’re dying for it. We rarely do it.

Jesus-lovers, step up. Stand up. Be free. Have humility. Have real love – real, self-sacrificial love. Risk all and give all because in Christ you have all. The world needs us. The world needs people who fearlessly open up their lives to others and give their complete attention and focus to others when they need it most. The world needs us to share the love of Christ who, though he didn’t have to, became acquainted with our sufferings, difficulties, temptations, struggles, joys… our humanity. Let us be unafraid to be human, inviting the world to be human with us as we invite people to invite us into their souls – always accepting the invitation, eager to share with them Him who is in us.

Categories: Miscellaneous
  1. tgt
    December 20, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    I think you’re on to something here. Sometimes presence is the greatest gift someone could give.

    I am one who needs to be quiet sometimes. i talk too much. I need to be a better listener.

  2. December 20, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    I am one that needs to learn to give more than just advice. I am one that needs to figure out how to help people feel like they know me, because even the people I think know me well, feel like they are at an arm’s length from me.

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