Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The present of presence!

Gorgeous views from our home in Wicklow!
As I write this I'm listening to the sounds of summer here in Ireland.  Children are playing in their back gardens.... water is a big part of their fun.  Trust me, if you could hear them you'd know that water was involved. Like most days we can see the sea from our window but today it's beckoning me to come... although I have a feeling I'd only get my toes wet... the water's about 50F, COLD!   Regardless it does looks inviting from this vantage point.

We've been back in Ireland about a week now and most of that week I've been dealing with back pain... I'm guessing it's the result of six weeks plus on the road.  As a result I've felt rather melancholy... you might say I've been made aware of my physical limitations, my weakness, dare I say it, my age?

Anyway, I'm starting to feel better and with that is a desire to get back at it.  Yesterday, however was a bank holiday Monday.  In other words, a day where the banks and most other shops are closed.  We spent the morning cleaning, Matthew washed our car and we joined with other neighbours enjoying what was an incredibly beautiful day.  Later we had a BBQ to celebrate.  What? I'm not sure... but we're always up for a party.  In the course of events we ended up chatting with our neighbours across the back fence.  It was a good day.

It's now Tuesday... and as I travelled down into town I discover Wicklow was once again a buzz of  activity.  All those shops that were closed yesterday are open once again.  It was good to walk the  streets, even if my gait was not without the obvious signs of my back issue.  I stopped in a couple of the shops and spoke with some individuals I hadn't seen since before our trip to the US.  As I walked I began praying, asking God to help me.   I began thinking about our presence in this place we now call home, we'd been missed.... at least that's what they told us.

Eventually I made my way to my favourite Coffee shop.  I sat there reading, reflecting and praying and in the midst of those moments God came and met with me.  It was wonderful, it was what I needed.  He didn't say much, but His presence made a difference... and that got me thinking....

In the midst of my musing  I heard a lady climbing the stone stairs right by the little street side table where I was sitting.  She was labouring.  Cane in one hand, the other on a rail.  She was willing herself up those stairs to that little coffee shop.... and I heard her... under her breath whisper, "...Jesus!" I don't know how she meant it, but I prayed for her in that moment that HE would be real to her.  As I did, I began thinking about how very often we're so unaware of his presence.  We miss him even as he's right there with us.

I thought about our call to come and live in this place and as I did I began reflecting on what we're DOING... yet in that moment, even as I was aware of God's presence... I could not help but think how perhaps the greatest call involves NOT what we do, but simply being present.... being present with people....

So as I sat there sensing the the call not so much to DO anything, but to simply be present in the lives of those about me....

As I sign off... Blessings on you... as you walk through this day may you be aware of HIS presence in your life, and maybe like myself, you'd be impressed to be present, really present with the people that God brings across your path today.