for the first time in my life, words are proving to be inadequate.

i’ve been in a couple situations now, coming across people on the streets or neighbors who’ve been injured and all i can do is sit with them while we wait for the paramedics.  i’m walking with several people through parts of life that i can’t speak into: a friend who’s father was just diagnosed with cancer, another who’s wounds i don’t understand and still others who are not yet ready to share their pain.  i often feel inadequate and helpless as to what to do when they’re crying or, worse, silent.

which begs the question, is presence enough?

i think back to the times i sensed God’s presence in my life, and the answer is an overwhelming yes.  i think of the times He seemed to just hold me when i really wanted to drive into traffic, or the time He walked through a sexually inappropriate relationship and wooed me back to Himself.  the little moments in the car when i sensed He was close, on the streets, in my bed.  He didn’t come and tell me that suicide was a sin and i shouldn’t do it because i’d go to hell.  or that having sex before marriage was wrong and that i was going to hell.  he was just there…and that made all the difference.

Jesus once said he came to heal the sick, not the healthy. i think of what a hospital looks like then, of the bed that’s just there for whoever comes in needing it.  they get to be just exactly as they are found…wounding, bleading, crying, comotose.  no comes to them with words of condemnation for what got them there (or at least the shouldn’t), the ill-chosen decisions or the things that were done to them.  they just get treated and are given a space to heal.

this may be the greatest analogy he could have given us for the role of the church body: be a place where people can come and rest and heal fully.  you were once (and maybe still are) a patient yourself, being cared for and loved on by a gentle Father.  go and do likewise.

may you go out today in the knowledge that you have both the need for healing, and the capacity to bring healing to others.  that your presence is more than enough; sometimes it’s everything.


One thought on “presence

  1. awesome post, christie. we love you where you are, as you are.
    also, do you remember at all reading an essay called “Care” by Henri Nouwen? it was part of our RA training reading soph year. it hit home SO hard for me that year…. pretty much rings true in my heart the same way this post does. love you, dearheart. love your honesty. also reminds me of an awesome amy grant song (i love her)…. here’s a link:
    also, just found a newer artist who is amazing. sometimes i just listen to this song and want to sit and soak it up (it’s not great quality, but the lyrics are so so good):
    and one last song, because this is another recent find:
    sorry, i hope you dont mind me sharing… but music always touches my heart with its beauty and pain when i’m going thru the hard/deep/dark times.
    love, love, love you. grace and peace and courage and hope and love and LIFE to you, friend!!!

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