Presence Always Trumps Purpose


As the weeks and days make their way closer to us moving to Lewisburg and starting a church in the living room of our house, I find myself getting antsy and nervous along with a little fear and anxiety peppered in. This past weekend, we continued working on the house we are moving in to by sanding the floors. We didn’t have time to stay so my wife’s parents finished the floors with a polyurethane. We have very little preparation left before we can move; install counters, fix a leak in the bathroom, touch up painting, tear out and insulate back porch, sheet rock and paint the concrete floor in the back porch and hook up hot water heater. In three weeks, we will be moving in.

During our very brief stay this past weekend, we were more than blessed to have a friend from church, Jonathan, join us in this process of working on the floors. We had never sanded floors and he volunteered his time and effort to drive near two hours away to supervise and teach us on the delicate matters of sanding hardwood floors.

But we really didn’t need him. Honestly. It wasn’t as hard as we thought but having someone there who had just enough experience to provide comfort to our anxiety was more than worth it. As a matter of fact, having him there was exactly what we needed. Not in the sense of his experience of sanding floors but more so in the sense of friendship. In other words, I was more glad to have him there as a friend than as a supervisor.

What I learned more than anything from this experience is there are times when your presence matters to someone not because of your knowledge but because of your friendship. Having Jonathan there was a form of support and camaraderie. And I believe that was what my wife and I needed more than anything.  Simply giving your time to someone for the mere purpose of presence far outweighs purpose. When a person is sick in the hospital they just need someone to be there. When a relationship is broken, sometimes a friend is needed just for presence. When a death in the family happens, sometimes a person just needs your presence. When times are hard sometimes the presence of a friend is most important.

I do believe presence always trumps purpose.

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About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

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