Embracing Presence: On Paying Attention to Those Around Us

It’s a wonder that I even need to think about what to write lately for this article. For the last month or so there has been a weekly convergence of thoughts from many different places all focusing on a particular theme. It only requires that I pay attention and draw together the common threads.

This week the convergence of thought was on God’s presence. I think we all know that God is ever present, but in humility not always readily apparent. There are times when God’s presence is overwhelming, but to quote a friend, God’s presence is most often underwhelming. To experience the closeness of God, it requires that we make ourselves apparent to God. To make apparent is to pay attention to and present one’s self to another. Often our expectation is for God to make himself apparent to us. I believe that for us to experience God on a daily basis necessitates that God experiences us on a daily basis, too.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1

A Quite Place Amidst a Raging Sea

A Quiet Place Amidst a Raging Sea

Yes, there are times when we need God to “show up” on our behalf.Rest assured, God is aware of that. The beautiful thing is that we don’t need to do anything different. If we are already making ourselves apparent to God and God to us, then we can trust that God will act according to his wisdom and love for us. Can God trust that we will respond to him according to our love for him? I trust so.

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way
and the mountains fall
into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Psalm 46:1-5 

Obviously, this not only applies to our relationship with God. I pray that we also take time to present ourselves to the ones we love around us. This, too, is our true and proper worship.

Grace and peace,

Also published on Medium.

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About Brook Fonceca

I’m a coffee snob, theology nerd, father of five, associate pastor, and acoustic guitar hack. The articles on this blog are some of my thoughts on God, church, theology, spirituality, and at times, coffee. The posts usually arrive in the form of newsletter devotionals.

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