So, during the month of March, there was a nice fundraiser held at Mohan’s Restaurant near the church. It was called Tips for Cops where the police of Penn Hills spent time waiting on tables with the tips going to help with charity work in our community. I was thrilled to hear afterward how much money was made that night. But why I bring this up has more to do with a comment made when discussing the event and the fact that one could not even get into the parking lot since it was so busy. In our discussion, either I or my friend said, “I want to support them, but I don’t want to spend the time there because it gets so crowded.” I cannot remember which one of us said it, but we both agreed that is how we were feeling.
That comment and feeling occurs more often in my life than I care to admit. I do like supporting people in various worthwhile projects and concerns. And reality is, I can write a check and support is given. But when I really examine the comment and thought, I know that while the ideal is good, there is a cautionary notation as well. For there can be a tendency to think that writing the check is enough, yet perhaps we miss out on the support that comes from the actual presence of a person. I say this because I know sometimes it is easier to send money than to actually be present to share in making a difference. And when a person is present, that makes an impact beyond the money given.
I was considering this in another realm as well: support of family and friends. Like suppose a child (grandchild, niece, nephew, or neighbor kid) has need of fundraising to help them in their chosen sport or arts type venture. Donating to help them participate is good. But even more impactful sometimes is actually going and watching that child as they participate in their chosen sport or arts type activity. I know that this support can mean a lot to the child and even their relatives. It is the practice of presence.
Which is what God did in sending Jesus to our world. It was not enough to simply be supportive, God sent Jesus to be present in our world. And even more, God sends the Holy Spirit to help us in daily living. This is a great demonstration of how God supports us beyond merely being the Great Provider.
So this month, work to be a supporter of people around you. It can be with money, but hopefully it can also be with your presence.