The Power of Presence

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”– 1 John 4:7 (NIV)

Today I am remembering my dear friend, Margarita.

There is no rhyme or reason, but she is in my thoughts. Margarita passed away last October from brain cancer while in her mid-forties. She was from Chile and was an amazing artist, wife, mother, and friend. While at her memorial service, the priest described how Margarita had the “power of presence”. Whether she was cheering her kids on from the soccer sidelines, laughing at a funny joke, or reaching out to you when you needed to talk, Margarita exuded a presence of warmth, love, compassion, and generosity. Her warm caring eyes and open caring arms enveloped you with a love that could not be shaken.

I have often thought of how she treated others with love. She was a bright spot in all our lives, always welcoming outsiders to her world and family. I have thought about this “power of presence”, and underlying it all is love. Margarita knew God, and she knew how to love. What a lesson to us all.

I think of the suffering in our world. I know all of us could name off family, friends, and strangers who are suffering now. We all know people who are wounded, hurting, ill, lonely, depressed, or a host of other things….I wonder how different our world would be if we all learned “the power of presence.” How would our marriages be different? Our country? Our schools? Our workplaces? For the power of presence radiates outward, permeating everything around it.

Do you know anyone with the power of presence? I am fortunate that God placed Margarita in my life, to show me how to love, to show me how to have the power of presence. We all can have it…. but we need to ask for it and use it to change the world. Jesus walked on this earth years ago, He had it, and He taught us how to use it. When we know God, God is love, and He can use us to show this love to a hurting dying world.

Consider your “power of presence” today. It can be used in so many ways, both big and small. An encouraging smile. A phone call. A prayer. Time spent with someone. How might God be calling you to step through the door and use it today?

Prayer–“God of love, teach me how to love others deeply so that I may share it with someone else today. Place people in my path who need your love, and give me the boldness to reach out to them. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

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