One of the programs that Adrian Christian Church offers during its Vacation Bible School (VBS) program is called Jr. Missions. The basic concept is that sixth through eighth grade students will come to VBS and then go out of the building to do some mission project. This week they prepared a meal for senior housing and then delivered it. The group also went and played bingo at the assisted living facility. When we arrived both nights it was clear that 25 students plus 4 helpers were going to be a tight fit, so I went out onto the porch to watch and listen from a distance.
To me it was equally clear both nights that the food and the bingo were secondary. The joy of the evening for both older groups was having someone new to talk to. The flip side was also true, while the kids may not have been as thrilled with the senior adults they were filled with joy to be doing this project with their friends. The real joy of the evening was simply being in the presence of other people.
For years I have noticed that the worst type of punishment you can give a person is solitary confinement. If you remove people from our lives there is an absence that affects us deeply. In fact, much of my job has been the preaching of the gospel, but the rest is simple spending time with people. I am called to be there to fill a void in people’s relationships. This usually happens at the hospital or the funeral home or sometimes when I just sit and visit.
I believe this realization has a two-fold application. First, thank God for the people in your life. Second, be the person in someone else’s life. Your presence may brighten someone’s day and help to fill a need by just being there.