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Presence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

“I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord, the praiseworthy acts of the Lord, because of all that the Lord has done for us, and the great favor to the house of Israel that he has shown them according to his mercy, according to the abundance of his steadfast love. For he said, “Surely they are my people, children who will not deal falsely”; and he became their savior in all their distress. It was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old." Isaiah 63:7-9 

The saying goes, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” which has some truth to it and we certainly crave to be together, but I have found that it is "presence" that has had the most influence on my life. 

Absence isn't always about your physical location. 

For his first grade Valentine’s Day, a mother helped a little boy make up Valentines for everyone in class so no one would be left out. The boy was too shy to put the box of Valentines at the front of the class, so he held on to them throughout the day—and later brought them back to his mother. That boy was Charles Schulz, who was the author of the comic strip Peanuts. His own fears and foibles regarding love appeared regularly in the world of Charlie Brown. 

When loving kindness is shown to us, fear fades. And we remember those moments, don’t we? We might tell someone about it and replay the scene over and over in our minds because it recalls an experience of being surprised by joy. We taste some sweet affirmation and feel safe, provided for in a way we had not expected. We revel in such moments where we feel loved. 

If every person made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary, then I believe the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of us, the face of God. 

Jesus came looking for us, to save us and to guide us home. He did not withhold one ounce of love. He poured it all out for us and His presence has made us new creations. Let’s follow his lead so others can experience his love. 

The Prayer of Saint Teresa of Avila 

Let nothing disturb you. 
Let nothing frighten you. 
All things pass. 
God does not change. 
Patience achieves everything. 
Whoever has God lacks nothing. 
God alone suffices. 
Christ has no body now on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours. 
Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world. 
Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good. 
Yours are the hands with which He is to bless His people. 

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