Being there

I have concluded that one of THE most important traits of a good friend is being there. Just being there. Being there when the new baby is born or the daughter gets married...or the first book is released. When the dream dies or the marriage is in peril or a parent is gone. Being there for celebrations or poignant milestones or painful journeys...just being there.

It's not necessary to have "the answer" or even "the right thing to say". No, it's just being there. Presence. (Although bringing food to anyone at any time is always a great idea...just sayin...) Presence. Just being there.

I think about that trait in the lives of so many people that I am privileged enough to claim as a"friend".  Their commitment to "being there" makes them immensely important to so many people, not just me; these are folks that somehow manage to "just be there" for others, scores of others. Folks that quietly carve out the time from busy schedules, summon the brainpower to remember, and possess the capacity of heart that cares enough to make being there a priority. Sometimes physical presence isn't a possibility so this kind of friend supplies a presence with a call or a text. The
 point is...they are there. With you. To grieve or celebrate or enjoy or endure. There.

Treasures. These folks are treasures.

I have experienced a lot of this in my life. Friends that flood my life with blessing by being there. Just being there. As I thanked God for these gifts in my life, I was reminded that the idea of "being there" originated with God.

He walked in the Garden with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8) and chatted with Moses in a burning bush (Exodus 3:2-8). He accompanied the Israelites in the desert, displaying His presence in a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night (Exodus 13:21,22) He promises to not only be there when we're winning the game but also when we are surrounded by circumstances or people that seem bent on our demise (Psalm 23:5).

And especially at Christmas, we celebrate that, He who was in the beginning with God - in fact IS God - became flesh and dwelt among us. And, as we behold His Glory, we see Who God is. (John 1:1-14) And we understand what the prophet Isaiah foretold and the disciple Matthew explained
Behold the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means " God with us."    Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23

Wow. Major importance - God with us.

Being there. Not distant or aloof or apart. With us. Here. And this priority of being there was the basis of His promise to always be with us (Matthew 28:20) and the heart of His prayer, pouring out His desire to His Father to have US with HIM (John 17:24).

Being there.

The greatest gift we can give one another.

The greatest gift God has given. The gift of His Presence.
By this, the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  (I John 4:9)