Just Be Present…

I had a to-do list a mile long yesterday.  Anyway, it felt like it was a mile long.  For the first time in weeks, we had nowhere to go.  No appointments, no reason to leave the house.  Those are my favorite days.  So, once I got the two oldest settled at the school table and the two youngest playing, I started on the list.  And I was knocking them out at record speed.  Phone calls, done.  Appointments scheduled, check.  Organizing my calendar, check.  Check, check, check. I was on fire. One more thing to do and then I was going to enjoy relaxing.

It was such a small drop.  I didn’t think it had done any damage.  My phone fell onto the surface face down from only inches above.  I was trying to get a decent picture to sell it and move it out.  But, while I was clearing off the surface, I dropped my phone.  I picked it up, turned it over, and gasped. The screen protector had shattered, but so had the actual screen.  Lines of color stretched up and down the screen.  For the first time since having a smartphone, I had busted mine.

The disconnection is so nice!  I cannot access Instagram (I don’t get on Facebook much anymore), I can’t make or receive texts.  I have almost no access to my phone.  (The only aspect I don’t like is, as of this morning, I can’t make outgoing calls which makes me nervous if there’s an emergency.)  It’s so nice.  This morning, I’m sitting in our kitchen at my new table, hanging out with my two youngest who are doing Montessori activities.  I’m drinking my coffee, soaking in the morning, listening to my four year old quietly sing, “Glory to God…”  My oldest two are chatting and doing school in the room behind me.  I’m just with my loves.  That’s it.

I admittedly don’t like smart phones.  The level of connection is impossible to keep up with.  I have had people often tell me, “Why haven’t you responded to my email–don’t you have a smartphone?  You should get it right away!”  Um, no.  Because I often leave my phone in forgotten places around the house.  I need to change a diaper, it gets put on the changing table and falls beneath the changing pad.  I have to tie a shoe, I put it on the mantle, amidst the other (ahem) clutter up there.  And I promptly forget it’s there.  But, despite this, I feel a great pressure to stay on top of texts and emails.  Because it’s always there.  I have worked on tempering this guilt over the last few months but , though I’ve gotten better, its still bothers me.  I miss the days of dumb phones. More so, I miss the days of no cell phones.

I need to start leaving my phone on my nightstand and just being present.  Like this.  So that I can soak in the precious life around me.  With all the Snapchats, Instagram posts, Facebook scrolling, and Twitter typing, people are forgetting how to connect, truly and deeply connect, with those around them.  The listening to the emotions surface in their loved ones’ voices, the reaching out and physically touching them, the act of sitting with them, breaking bread with them, just being present with them.  Giving them our presence.

It was with His touch and presence that Jesus healed.  At a wedding in Cana, he transformed the water into wine, and then ate with the people, celebrated with the people.  In Luke chapter 4, He touched many and healed them.  In a boat with the apostles, He calmed a sea with his presence.  The hemorrhaging woman pulled herself along behind Him in the crowds, struggling in pain and suffering to get close enough to touch His cloak…and is healed.  At the Last Supper surrounded by His people, He broke bread and changed the bread and wine into His very self.  Over a communal meal, he performed His greatest miracle.

Through giving of His presence, His touch, and ultimately His very self, Christ healed all of us.  He hung on the Cross, healing our sins and redeeming us.  Through this, He gave us eternal life.

I am not Christ.  I do not have the power to heal or perform miracles.  But, I can be a channel of Christ to my children and husband, to my family and community.  As a mother, my touch has the power to comfort and ease.  As a wife, my presence has the power to love and bond.  As the member of a family and also community, my service has the power to love and help.

So, put down the phone.  Turn off the social media.  Be present.  Reach out and touch.  Go forth and serve.  So much more grace, comfort, and love will come from these acts than an uplifting post on social media, or a quick text.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
John 13:34


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