The most sacred times in my life are times I am the most present. This is certainly true of diapers, daughter-dance-parties, and date nights.

It’s equally true of ministry. The sacredness of ministry is always in the specifics, the more human the more sacred. One of the greatest gifts we can give is our presence. Ministry happens right where you are; whether at the corner in your neighborhood or at a friend’s death bed, in your classroom or delivering a casserole to a depressed friend.

It’s easy to forget the spiritual component of ministry – of presence – in our complex and busy world. There’s so much going on around us and inside us to pause and simply be. And yet that’s what our world needs more than anything. Not our perfection and programs – our presence.

And a surprising thing happens when we decide to show up with our full attention. We find ourselves less and less in control. The more rooted in the present, the freer we are to move into the future in a more genuine and healing way than we could have imagined.

For me this week that’s proved true numerous times:

I was present with my son in his sadness, and he became more capable to allow his story to unfold. I was present at my friend’s death bed, and opportunity opened to minister to his care givers.
I took time to dwell in God’s presence, and healing was opened I didn’t know I even needed.

I’m thankful that there are folks in Houston that challenge me to think about presence in the hyper-local. To dare to attend to the presence of God right where I already am.

I think that’s exactly what I meant by titling my book The Gospel Next Door. Because God is already there living and loving and wanting passionately for us show up and just be. To be with God, to be with our neighbors and family. And perhaps most daring of all – to be fully present with ourselves just as we are. There might not be anything more sacred than that. I hope you find healing presence today.

Where do you see ‪#‎TheGospelNextDoor‬? Where do you long for God’s presence?