I feel like recently God’s been slamming me in the face with this idea of showing up.
Ok, sorry God, maybe I should be a little nicer about how I word this. He’s presented me with ample opportunities in which I have needed to show up. Through my (many) failures, and (few) successes, he’s been reworking what showing up is supposed to look like, as compared to how I’ve previously understood it. Regardless, this process has definitely felt more like a slap in the face than a gentle prodding 😉
I feel like I should clarify here. I’m NOT talking about a quiet or blasé here-I-am-I-entered-the-building-now-what-should-I-do kind of showing up. This is NOT a going through the motions kind of showing up. And in NO WAY is the “showing up” I’m talking about a passive act.
This is a LOUD, fiery, bold and, most importantly, a courageous, kind of showing up.
Sometimes, I’ve come to learn, showing up loudly can be done through seemingly quiet acts of kindness and intentionality: a shoulder to cry on…a text/handwritten note…a phone call….a truly genuine “How are you, really?”
Showing up looks different every day. It’s definitely a situational thing. Trust me when I say that some days will be harder than others. There will be days when you will be able to show up loudly. There will be others that you barely get through the day, dragging yourself out of bed. But only you will know if you’ve truly shown up to your fullest capability.
A few weeks ago, I met a couple at church who showed up absolutely brilliantly. Through casual conversation, I found out they had recently lost a son…rather suddenly… to drowning….
I was floored. I had no freaking clue what to say. Obviously.
After some time, I realized that I was awestruck by their decision to come to church. I was overwhelmed by their faith. To show up. Despite their situation and what they might be feeling, they were here. Praising God. DESPITE all the heartbreak and remorse and struggling and pain and sadness…they chose to believe that their God is still good.
And in their quiet resilience, I saw what true faith looked like. The way that they showed up might have seemed small (most people at church probably didn’t even know their story), but it spoke volumes to me.
Showing up, I’ve also learned, does not mean you have to know the exact right thing to say all the time. It simply means being present. That’s what Jesus did for us, and what God promises he will always do for us. For a long time now, I’ve taken way too much pride my ability to say and do the right things for the people I love. But I’m realizing now that there will be times where words won’t be sufficient. We don’t have to heal people’s wounds, we don’t have to solve their problems, we don’t have to have the “solution” to show that we care.
I/We just have to be p r e s e n t.
I/We need to willingly step into people’s pain and struggles and worries and imperfections.
I/We must constantly sacrifice our own personal agenda, our own comfortability, to show up and engage in people’s lives.
I love writers who approach difficult topics. But I respect those who offer up tangible ways to put into practice the subjects they bring up. I’m working on becoming one of those writers.
So this is me, showing up for you, whoever may be reading this blog. There are parts of myself that are telling me not to write this blog post, that I have nothing original to say, that more eloquent, more qualified writers have already covered this topic. But there is also another, thankfully much louder, part of me that is demanding that I write this. And so I here is am, writing about what I am learning, what I find important.
As for you, reader, I’m giving you a tangible challenge to show up. Today. In whatever way you can. And to
Because it’s all we can do, really.