I awoke this morning in Southeast Asia to a predawn monsoon downpour. As I sat in the dark under the canvas canopy thanking God for this protection from the flood and wondered what I would do on this soggy day a line from Nadia Boltz-Weber’s book Pastrix came to mind.
She tells the story of how early in her ministry training she was assigned chaplain service in a local hospital. The first day she is sent to an ER Trauma Room where “all hell is breaking loose” as a team of doctors, nurses, and various other workers frantically try to save the life that is bleeding out on the table. Frustrated by her helplessness, she asked an ER nurse what she can do to help. The nurse replies, “Your job is to stand here and be aware of God’s presence in this room.”
Boltz-Weber’s task at the moment was not to do anything–not even to pray for the patient or the ER staff so desperately working to save this life. Her job was to simply “stand here and be aware of God’s presence in this room.”
The Holy Spirit whispered this line into my ear and confirmed in my spirit that my job today is to just be here and be aware of God’s presence in this place. God’s presence in the darkness and rain earlier this morning. God’s presence now in the dawn and the doves cooing nearby. God’s presence in the sparrows which he clothes and feeds. And, of course, God’s presence for these warm, welcoming Burmese people. God is here although 99.67% are oblivious of his presence and his love for them, for me, for all of humanity.