Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Power of Presence

Over the last few weeks, I've been hearing a consistent message. "Just show up." "Just be there." "Be present."

It's one of the first things that a hospital chaplain learns. You don't neccessarily need to converse or do anything for the patient. Often what is most needed is simply your presence, quiet and still.

Mindfulness, presence, is the very essence of Buddhism. Focusing on the now, this minute, this time gives you perspective and helps you sense the Divine Presence in what you are doing.

In marriage and in friendships, the simple act of sitting in the same room together, each reading or sewing or thinking can strengthen the bonds of relationship.

Just showing up for your child's soccer game or dance recital or team debate can bring joy to your child and display your love.

My minister reminds us that attending service on Sunday is a spiritual discipline. We never know who will be touched and uplifted just by walking into the sanctuary and seeing familiar faces there. Our presence creates community which can comfort and support--and "all" we did was show up.

My Christian Fellowship is finding that for the last year simply our presence is yielding fruit. We meet twice a month, make sure that the Sunday bulletin announces when we're meeting and write an article for the monthly newsletter. We mention our involvement casually in conversation. We had a small table at the congregational Connections Fair. We are present in our UU community. From five regular attendees, we're growing to 10. People mention that they've visited our church and stayed partly because they noticed that Christians meet and are accepted. A few people from other UU congregations in the area have visited our meetings.

Presence. Steady. Quiet. Loving. Calming.

How did you show up today?

1 comment:

  1. As one not blessed with the gift of gap, "being presence" is a grace I truly appreciate. I easily get overwhelmed when a constant conversation is spinning around me. As a reflective person I need time to process. In my work as a home visitor, I find this gift to contribute to my success. In my relationships, walking quietly with a supportive partner is very refreshing.