“It’s good to be here with you…”
As I continued thinking about, “It’s good to be me here with you” I began pondering the idea good to be here with you. It brought some questions to mind… Is it good to be here with you when things are going well? What about when things aren’t? When we have conflict? When your weaknesses affect me negatively? When your strengths point out my weaknesses? What if I’d rather be there with them (on my phone, buried in a book, or talking to someone else)? Can I cope with discomfort and it still be good to be here with you?
In so many places of our lives, we are pulled by the urgent things of the moment and the not-so-urgent emotions we feel. What would it look like to give appropriate time and place to those things but also purpose to give joyful attention to the people we come across? Could we commit this to habit?
There’s a thought process that resonates with me as I begin each school year. My early goal should be that my students know “I like you” by showing my interest in them for who they are. Then, the student would know “I love you.” This looks like my students knowing that I will lovingly correct them for their good, that I will be first in line to cheer for them when they have success, and that who they are today is worth being with. Once we have established these things, and they know securely that it is good to be here with each of them, then, we can dig into the enjoyment and challenge of learning.
So, how can we express that it is good to be here with you? In what ways can we show others joy and pleasure in being together? A delightful, bright smile. Detaching from stressors, putting down devices, setting aside thoughts that take us to other places mentally and being fully present. Looking others in their eyes when they express happiness, melancholy, pain, weakness. We cannot will others into right acting, but we can enjoy the pleasure of being with someone as they grow and mature into right acting. We rejoice with these small steps toward obedience to God and love toward others. Regardless of outward behavior, we can choose to express that it is good to be with others by our peaceful presence.
At the heart of this way of thinking lies an understanding of who I am and who you are. When it is good to be me, I have a contented peace in myself and my God. When it is good to be me here with you, I have contented peace with you because I know Who created you and how much He loves you. There’s no work that must be done. No expectations. Being together is good with no other agenda. If other things are accomplished, that’s wonderful, but it isn’t necessary in order for it to be good. When we know it is good to be me, then we can rest in the joy and delight that it is to be here with you. Our gracious Father has given us the gift of one another and togetherness. He has promised to be with us when we are gathered in His name. There is joy to be found in being together.
1 John 4:7-8, 11 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for he is love… Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.