So for book club we read a book called, “I Believe….(somethin, somethin, somethin).” Can’t remember it all, but it was a collection of essays that was a feature on NPR as well as a number of places. It was just people writing in talking about what they believe in. Some were funny, some inspirational (I particularly liked, “I believe in chocolate” because only a fool would disagree). So we book clubers, being the really smart, awesome women we are, decided we should write our own. We’re going to read them tonight in front of the rest of the club but I thought I’d post mine for my blog club. 🙂
I Believe in the Power of Presence
Job was a man whose suffering was intense; in a short space of time, he lost his children, his wealth, and his health. His bitter wife provided him no comfort; instead, she prodded him to “curse God and die”. Comfort arrived when three of his friends showed up: “Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.” (Job 2:13)
The Bible later goes on to say that once his friends started talking and trying to soothe him, Job became even more distressed. Sometimes words are not enough to break the ugliness of suffering.
In my times of suffering: deaths, miscarriage, adoption, and just random valleys I have found hope only in the presence of my loved ones. Those same loved ones do really nice things for me as well; clean my house, make us food, paint our house, give us clothes, make us coffee. I appreciate those things immensely but I value so much their time and their sacrifice for just being there with me.
Time is definitely one of this world’s most valuable resources. No one has enough of it and it’s constantly slipping between our fingers. There are never enough hours in the day for me to get all the things I want to get done. It is the knowledge of this that makes me believe that for someone to sit with me while I figure things out or have a good cry, they are truly sacrificing a great deal for me.
It’s common knowledge that we all have different love languages. So I was surprised when I met a special person in Ethiopia who told me that us being there meant the world to him. It wasn’t what we said, it wasn’t the donations we brought or the medications. Our presence, our time, our hand resting on his; he was so very thankful for that.
It made me realize that perhaps it is somewhat of a universal love language, this valuable thing we call time. Whether Ethiopian or American, man or woman, God or human, dog or cat; we all seem to long for someone to love us enough to be there. Love us enough to cut out just a few minutes of our precious days to show up. We don’t need comforting words or presents, we don’t even need philosophical or theological reasons for what we’re going through. Sometimes, we just simply need each other’s presence.