Posted by: Jo | December 4, 2015

A Tangible Presence

“ The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest”“

(Exodus 33:14)

image Many years ago a friend told me a sweet story about her little boy, who during a severe lightening and thunder storm, became very frightened as he had just been put to bed in his upstairs bedroom and all the adults were still downstairs. At one, big flash of lightening he cried out, “I’m frightened” One of the adults to reassure him called back, “Jesus will look after you”. His reply has stayed in my mind ever since and has remained as a reminder of what we all need in times of distress. This was the wail that floated down the stairs;

I need someone with skin on!

We may smile at the little one’s response, but when we examine it more closely we realise the incredible depth of truth behind those words. God promised that his presence would go with us and what is more, Jesus has promised that his spirit would live within us and when that happens we become the tangible presence of our Lord for others to see and be able to touch.

“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete within us.” (1 John 4:12)

A tangible presence of a caring person can have a powerful effect in all sorts of ways. Studies have proved that babies cared in orphanages, even though they were well fed, didn’t thrive as well as babies being given lots of hugs in a family setting. Studies in senior citizen’s homes have shown the same results, that when a senior has constant visitors that hold their hands, or give hugs, even those with dementia are calmer and respond better to care. Sometimes a hug given with a true sense of caring, speaks louder than many spoken words.

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:18)

image We may have been guilty of sometimes saying glibly, “I will pray for you” when what the needy person really needs is a tangible presence of a loving, caring friend who is prepared to be there in person. Sometimes we need to be the one

who has skin on” for another who is frightened, deep in sorrow, battling depression, facing a terminal illness, doubting God’s goodness, lonely, all of which can overwhelm when one is struggling alone.

Many of the old hymns have such beautiful ways of speaking to our Heavenly Father and asking for his help to love others with his love and I particularly like the words in this one hymn that ask God to allow our hands and our feet to move prompted by his love, not to make others think how good we are, but to be a tangible presence of his unconditional incredible love for his children

Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love

Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee.

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Responses

  1. A lovely story Jo and so well illustrates your blog. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the little fellow’s comment “I need someone with skin on” ! It fits in so well with something else I was reading this morning, that the missionary role we all have is not to convert people but to show them love and hope. Good practical stuff. Thanks again Jo

    Liked by 1 person


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