A Presence For Others
Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. (John 6:3, ESV)
Successfully playing golf on the professional level does not automatically make me a teacher of the golf swing. I believe one valuable resource of becoming a golf instructor involves intentionally being in the presence of other respected instructors in order to glean and learn from one another. Something I have not done.
Jesus was wise beyond any of his disciples’ imagination, and one thing he consistently modeled was creating space to be present with his disciples (including the crowds who followed him), and time for his disciples to be in his presence. Jesus was intentional about sitting and cultivating intimate conversations and connection.
An 18-hole pro-am spans a five-hour timeframe where the typical conversations cover work, family, and hobbies. Sometimes, there might be a spiritual connection, and even less frequently does a conversation dip into intimate emotional space. This requires more intentional effort and initiation from me. The latter occurred at a recent charity pro-am, where I experienced just how significant the power of presence can be.
He’s never left her.The power of presence on this particular day unfolded slowly. After the first couple hours of enjoying golf and laughter, I felt a nudge to ask Cindy (for confidentiality not her real name) a personal question that opened a brief conversation about relationships and being single. This was an encounter of presence; we sat next to each other, I asked a question, and a deeper conversation and connection ensued.
Fast forward to the end of the day. I was supposed to sit with my team during dinner, but due to a mix-up on table numbers, I could not find them in the vast tent full of 300-plus golfers. After eating, and as the awards presentation was coming to an end, I searched the tent one more time and finally found my group at the opposite end of the sea of tables.
I sat down next to Cindy and within minutes we were engaged in another personal conversation. This time I felt the nudge to share a story about Jacob wrestling with the angel of the Lord on the bank of the Jabbok river (Genesis 32:22-32). As little rivers of tears flooded her cheeks and our eyes met, I leaned toward her and encouraged her to wrestle with God as she walks through her current wilderness. I told her God can handle anything she needs to give him—her anger, her complaints, her doubts. I shared that God loves her so much and he’s waiting for her to turn back to him. He’s never left her. She hugged me and said, “You have no idea how much I needed to meet you today.”
The power of presence. Jesus sat down with his disciples. And his disciples sat down with him.
Can you recall a time(s) when the presence of another left you feeling nurtured and cared for?
Are you a refreshing drink of his presence to another? And most importantly, will you sit with Jesus and experience his presence today?
September 12, 2019
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