“there are ways that others need our presences, too”

“in reality, we throw gold mines into the trash”

by Jacki Kellum

Do you think that it is important to share? Describe in detail another way for you and others to share–to give to people around you.

Presence as Presents

by C L Couch

On this Thanksgiving, I won’t be with family. I’ll be dining with neighbor friends. And I’ll be cat-sitting for other friends who will be away enjoying a family reunion of sorts.

I’ll be bringing nothing to my own activities except myself, my choice, and time. I will feed the cats then visit with them, and they will ignore me. I will sit with my neighbors, enjoying the company of children and of parents. Then I will go home, alone.

When others do this—providing nothing but themselves—I call this the ministry of presence. (So do others, too.) When I used to work with youth, I surprised my ignorance of talent with an asset of simply being there. I didn’t what to say to youth, then discovered that wasn’t the important part. The important part was reliable company. Youth needed to know that someone, ideally someone without an agenda, would be there this time and probably the next.

So that’s how I share. And I imagine how anyone can. I will say that I’m a trained and active listener, which helps in interaction of any kind—even with indifferent cats. But if anyone shows up without self-preoccupation and then maybe shows up the next time. Well, that’s sharing. That’s even ministry.

Yes, I guess it means going beyond merely eating food and watching the game. But not much more. Talk with those, a little, who are there. More importantly, listen to what anyone has to say.

So Happy Thanksgiving to the relatively inert, as I will be. Happy presence to all. And, to all, a could night.

(image credit, http://www.usb-resources.org from Google Images)

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