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Show up.

I'd just gotten off work and I was HANGRY! Yes, hanger is real. I stopped at the grocery store to pick up one item (that I didn't even end up getting) and ended up rethinking my entire dinner choice. I decided on spaghetti... simple enough (shoulder shrug). Leaving the store, I drove home with the realization that I had work to complete before I called it a night. As I was cooking, I had the thought to head to Starbucks to finish my tasks. You know... change of scenery to help me focus because I wasn’t with it. The thought to get out of the house to work suddenly became a need; I knew I wouldn’t get anything done if I stayed home because my couch looked way too inviting. After I finished eating, though, I definitely didn’t want to leave home again, so I decided not to. Nope, I was going to keep myself locked in the house and try again the next day. But you know what? Even after my “final answer” I had this feeling to head to Starbucks. It was about 8:22 pm and they closed at 9:30.

You're right... I didn't take this picture. LOL

I gave in around 8:27 and decided to head out. As I began gathering my things to leave home, I continued to talk myself out of going. I finally got ready, grabbed my computer and jacket, and hurried to lock the door. The hurry was because I was still considering staying home even as I was walking out the door. I finally pulled up to the Starbucks a few minutes from my apartment (I worked here a couple years back so I know a few baristas) and parked. Once inside, I put my things down at one of the tables and headed to the counter to order. A friend of mine was working and he looked up to take my order. His eyes widened and he said, “I don’t really like to say stuff like this, but it’s a God thing that you’re here. I needed to see you! Now I know that I need to be here… like in life.” I’m pretty “drop of a hat” sensitive with the tears nowadays (grief is tricky) so I almost burst into tears. Ya know, I don’t think I realized until that moment how much my own presence means to others. No, I’m not tooting my own horn or being down on my significance, but I am acknowledging that my purpose is greater than I often think myself capable of carrying out. Now, I didn’t do anything special. All I did was show up to order tea.

After our “moment”, I went back to my spot and sat down to get to work. I plugged up my computer, opened it, and pressed the power button… nothing. Not even a flicker happened. My computer failed me, so I decided to at least get some writing and scheduling done. Productive, right? Well guess what… I couldn’t find an ink pen. Not. One. Pen in the bag of a writer. I was downright disgusted, mainly because I never go anywhere without a pen. What in the entire world was going on? I’ll tell you what, I was there to “show up” for someone else. That evening, I learned the power in the presence of another person. I’ve always believed that God displays His love for others through me, but this day, I found it to be completely true. See, when I stepped up to that counter to place my order, stuff changed, and a sigh of relief was let out. I don’t know what he was going through that day, and I’ll probably never know, but what I do know is that I helped a friend realize that he is needed and that even when he least expects it, God will show him just how much.

Although things didn’t work out the way I’d planned, I was supposed to be at that Starbucks. It was a “God thing” that I was there to order my venti, unsweetened green iced tea with peppermint syrup (cause it’s good). I was there to smile and hug someone and let them know that though life seems to suck sometimes, God is good, and He loves us through it all. I learned that in some cases, showing up for someone costs you nothing but a few minutes and a hug. And you wanna know something else (I’m gonna tell you anyway)? Sometimes those moments are not just for that other person. See, I needed to know that I was needed. I needed to know that my presence makes a difference. I needed a hug too.

So, a couple things to keep in mind: 1. Your presence makes a difference. 2. Trust that gut feeling that tells you to keep pushing even when you don’t feel like it. 3. Show up… somebody needs you.

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