My family’s schedule was all wack this week. My middle son got the chance to play some football at AT&T stadium in Arlington stadium Sunday evening, which put our clan back in our Oklahoma home around 2AM. And if you have kids…you know this is the stuff of parental nightmares.
After a grueling day, we’re attempting to put the sleep train back on the tracks and I walk down the hall to see that my youngest (6) has escaped and is lying under a blanket in the middle of the floor. Displaced. Half asleep, half crying.
After putting him in bed & laying w/ him for a while, he calms quickly, shuts his eyes & seems to fall back asleep. But the slightest movement from me & his eyes rocket open & he begins to cry out. (You’ve all tried to ninja your way out of the bed; it doesn’t work.) So I stayed.
While I laid there w/ my son,I recalled nights of being young & thunderstorms coming & walking to my parents room & lying on the floor next to their bed.I didn’t need them to say anything or do anything.I just needed to be in their presence. Because their presence was my safety.
We’ve forgotten about the ministry of presence. We’re “connected” in more ways than ever. But being present with others has never been more rare. Constant feed scrolling keeps us connected with content, information and visuals - but it doesn’t replace being present with others.
Emmanuel. God with Us. What a mind blowing idea that the God of the Universe would step out of space and time to begin a ministry of presence with us. That we would no longer be alone - always having His spirit with us to guide us and comfort us.
My prayer for this holiday season is that we reflect on Emmanuel & that we would practice the ministry of presence ourselves.Sit w/ your spouse, cuddle w/ your kid. Lay down the phone & shut off the TV for an evening over grilled cheese & tomato soup & just be present w/ someone.
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23