“For learning about wisdom and instruction, for understanding words of insight….Let the wise also hear and gain in learning, and the discerning acquire a skill….” Proverbs 1:2;5
I’m in the middle of an adventure. And I’m realizing that it is an experience of practicing mutuality and a ministry of presence.
About a month ago I adopted a cat. When I first brought Tigress home and she began to explore her new space, she was a bit terrified. It has been amazing to watch her settle in as we’ve spent time together — sometimes just sitting together in silence, sometimes getting treats and being petted, now even playing a little.
When I was a deaconess student, I was taught to meet a person where they are, to be attentive to their needs, to focus on them. I learned that sometimes we are just called to be present for them. As I have reflected on this new kitty-adventure, I’m realizing this is another experience for practicing mutuality and a ministry of presence. I’m realizing again that when dealing with another, the focus isn’t to be on what you want from your interaction. With Tigress, it’s meant letting our interaction go at her pace, allowing her to settle in, not forcing her to be held, giving her space to move on her terms and pace to become comfortable.
It’s wonderful to remember, whether it’s with a new cat, or a friend who is hurting, sometimes all that is needed is our being there — to sit and listen, or sit in silence and just be together. It’s reflecting on what we’ve been taught: companionship — just being with someone can be as powerful as a hug or conversation.
Prayer: God our caring creator, help us to be your hands and feet as we respond to all of your precious creation. Amen.
Deaconess Candidate Sara Manning, Boise, ID