I heard a great sermon this past Sunday (and don’t you love a great sermon) which began with the story of Mary anointing Jesus’ feet and then moved us to consider the intimacy of being present to others. Being present for others for any length of time can be a daunting, exhausting task–even if you’re not an introvert. If you’re a parent or clergy or the doctor-on-call, you know this. You can’t just turn off your cell phone and close the door to your room. There really is no way to say, “I’m sorry. You’re on your own today.” You can, of course, get a babysitter and go out to dinner, and you can go to sleep at night, but if something serious happens, you will be there.
Which got me thinking about God’s presence. Christians believe that God is omnipresent–always and everywhere (an exhausting thought!)–and I confess I usually thought of omnipresence in terms of oversight–rather like Santa Claus in that “he-sees-you-when-you’re-sleeping-he-knows-when-you’re-awake” kind of way. But Sunday’s sermon caused me to realize again, that God’s omnipresence is also a promise to be present to us, to be accessible, to allow for a kind of intimacy, to allow himself to be known. God will take care of us, but he will do more than that. He will be open to us. He will be present. Surely this is an act of Love.