A Ministry of Presence
By Janet Stobie
“What can I do to help?” Is a familiar question to many of us. Whether it’s a death in the family, or a flood, whatever the need, we want to help. Often we don’t think we have the right words, but we still want to do something, to make it better.
When my wonderful biological mother died I was far, far away and feeling very lost. I had had only twelve years to love her, and I wanted longer. Since I’d found her, I had travelled to Tucson, Arizona every year to visit her. Those were very precious visits. I wished I had gone more often and stayed longer. We hadn’t shared enough of either of our stories. I believed that my friends and family wouldn’t understand because they all knew I loved my adoptive mother totally while she was alive. I wasn’t sure if I should even tell others that I was sad.
Carved forever in my heart is my daughter’s response to the news of the death of this other Grandma she barely knew. “Oh Mom,” my Connie said, “It must be so hard for you to be here and not there. I’m coming over for the day. I’ll just get the children off to school and then I’ll be there with you.”
Connie came and sat with me and held me while I cried. Her presence brought such comfort and peace. I needed her and she was here.
Today I remind all of you that your presence is the most precious gift you can give. Of course, there are things you can do – send flowers, bring food, help with the arrangements and …but most important of all is the blessing of your presence.
Jesus reassured his followers with: “And remember I am with you always till the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 20)