power of presence.

Every Sunday, I join migrant workers in Chater Garden. We eat, dance, talk, dance, sing, talk, dance, eat. Sometimes, I think, “I could be doing something else besides sitting here. I’m not even doing anything.” But, am I really not? Do I really need to be doing right now? If you know me, you would know that I like to keep busy. I like to fill my calendar with activities to do, which leads to a lack of rest and state of just being.

I’m Martha. But I’m learning to be Mary. God loves me for who I am, not what I can do. It was in that realization that I am loved despite my actions that has set my soul free – free from the burden of earning God’s love, free from the burden of changing the world. All I am asked is to trust and to be as I am.

Working and spending time with Filipinos taught me the power of presence (and presents – don’t even think about forgetting pasalubong when you travel!), contrary to the environment I grew up in. Yesterday, I almost missed a little girl’s birthday party because I once again put my work first. The internal conflict was real. I struggled to appease my inner voice that showing up means more than doing work. This tension’s also there Sundays when I sit with my Filipino friends in Chater Garden, not knowing what’s happening most of the time. I’m learning that the seemingly passive tasks of listening and being somewhere speak louder than doing. As an Ate pointed out, my presence (even if I don’t do anything) means a lot. It shows that I care, that I’m willing to listening, that I stand in solidarity.. while sitting.