Words of Hope: Life-Giving Presence

Someone asked me how I was doing with my Dad’s death. I told her, “Honestly, it is much more painful than I thought. I miss him every single day.” I spoke with my brother, and he said the same. He keeps thinking Dad is on a long trip, and soon, he will get a call. I still have Dad listed in my favorites for my phone numbers. I must have accidentally dialed him the other day because I looked down, and it was ringing his number. There is a fresh wave of grief every time that happens. I know that my Dad is fully alive and present with God. I have joy knowing I will see him again, but his presence right now is greatly missed. I had one of the greatest Dads in the whole world. He encouraged me every day. He would leave a message or write a note. He was ready with a thoughtful and touching word of advice. Shann feels this tremendous loss with me. We marvel at how profound his presence was in our lives and in the lives of others. I wonder how many people miss my Dad’s voice—his encouraging words and deeply loving personality.

It’s been convicting for me to consider how I want to live–how could I be someone who brings that kind of intentionality, presence, encouragement, and joy to others. There are people whose presence changes the dynamics of an experience for good or for ill. My Dad transformed the room; he transformed the day. I want to live this life-giving way.

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. – Jeremiah 17:7-8