It was Thursday of Fall break. I spent the entire day studying with one of my roommates who I generally don’t see because she is so busy. It was a good day. I was productive. We ate lunch together and it was like a long day date. When we got home, we rejoined another of our roommates and rewarded ourselves with the movie An Affair To Remember. Old movies just have a certain sophisticated ambiance about them. It was divine and it was lovely. And then, the movie ended. I had a sense of loss. Oh, yes. It was quite connected to the movie. However, my sense of missing was because I had not seen my fourth roommate, Alysha, since the night before. She and I share a particular bond having survived a number of difficulties together. For a while, I wandered around my room a bit forlorn. I tried to distract myself with facebook. It was no use. Finally, I gave up.
With the petulance of a child, I stomped out of my dorm room and went to the entrance of my building. For about ten minutes, I pressed my face against the glass of the window peering out into the inky night. My heart screamed, “Alysha, come back to me!” After leaving quite the nose mark on this window, I finally marched outside. I stood smack dab in front of my building in the middle of the sidewalk and unceremoniously plopped myself down on the pavement. I was resolved to sit there until Alysha came home. Did I mention that it was a chilly autumn evening? I got pelted with raindrops and leaves. I wouldn’t move. I was resolute.
For a while, I got distracted by the way that the parking lot lights shown on the leaves of the trees. For a moment or two, the iridescent moon sparkling softly through the clouds intrigued me. Probably for more than a moment, I became very interested in the sounds of the night. And then, I became enthralled with the sound of my voice harmonizing with those night sounds. If you had been sitting near my dorm, you would have been treated to a free concert of my heart chords. The concert may have lasted for the greater part of an hour. It was attended by rain, leaves, and wind. There were a couple of intermissions that occurred upon the sighting of a passerby. I must say that the rain that came fell like sparkling diamonds but thankfully these diamond raindrops were soft and melted into liquid silver. It became a time of enchantment.
Finally, Alysha came. The smile that spread across her face upon the sighting of me sitting in the middle of the sidewalk at such a late hour warmed my heart. I was relieved because honestly I was getting a bit chilled. You would think that I would have immediately glued myself to Alysha’s side, but I didn’t. Now, that she was back, I felt no urgency to be with her. I was contented because I knew she was back. Alysha and I ended up hanging out with some other people. It was good.
Later on, I sat next to Alysha on the couch while we worked on separate things. I was confused because I knew that I had missed Alysha a lot. However, when she was actually there, I didn’t feel the need to be actively interacting with her. I could not understand it in my head. It just wasn’t making sense. And then, I realized it. I turned to Alysha and piped up, “Alysha, I missed your presence.”
Like an avalanche, my thoughts all slid into place. I love interacting with Alysha. Yet, my favorite thing is living next to Alysha day by day not necessarily talking or doing anything. I just like being next to her, knowing that she’s there, and knowing that we don’t have to interact. I never really understood the idea of presence. I mean, obviously, one is present in class or we live in the present time. The idea of presence has and had confused me. I have heard that the Holy Spirit is God’s presence. What in the world does that mean? God’s presence is something that should never leave you because He is everywhere. And yet, we are not always aware of His presence. The presence of friends is much easier to miss because it is a very visible and tangible thing. Of course, we don’t have to be aware of God’s presence. There is a choice involved. I am in the presence of Alysha because I want to be. I’m sitting next to her right now. God’s presence is with me because He wants to be with me and I want Him to be with me. Presence.