The Ministry of Presence

The younger woman (50) was navigating the memorial service visitation for her mother’s unexpected death. The older woman (75) was one of the visitors who came. The younger woman’s grief was amplified by family relationships of wounding and estrangement. There was a palpable tension in the environment of the funeral home. Then the entry door opened and the older woman appeared. I want to say she walked in but she really kind of dragged herself in. Her own chronic deteriorating illness makes it difficult for her to walk for more than 10 feet without stopping for breath. She made it to a chair in the foyer and literally slumped into it. When the younger woman was made aware of her presence she ran to her, threw her arms around her and sobbed. Then the younger woman was heard to say, “I’ll be OK now.” I, as the privileged observer of this healing moment, whispered, “This is your family.” The younger woman said, “I know.” What did the older woman do? The short answer is “She came.” How can one explain the power of this bond? One reason is that these two women have prayed together every week for years. Another, less tangible reason, is the mystery of the ministry of presence. When have you been blessed just because someone came?

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One Response to The Ministry of Presence

  1. You have showed great perseverance behind the blog. It’s been enriched since the beginning. I love to share to with my friends. Carry on.
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