Abraham is a successful guy: big herds of animals, lots of money, plenty of servants, no shortage of people to do his bidding. But when God shows up as these three strangers, he doesn’t try to “staff it out.” Rather, he personally sees to their comfort. He asks (well, instructs) Sarah to personally bake bread—and not just bread, but cake with the best flour—and he personally goes to pick out the calf to be served, no doubt to ensure that the finest is chosen. Then Abraham becomes the servant, personally placing the meal in front of his guests and standing by while they eat—staying close in case they need something else.
No one should negate the value of delegating tasks, but there are times in our lives when the most important thing is for us to simply be present. Engaged. Aware. Listening. We need to “show up”—for our spouse, our kids, our friends…and sometimes, for a stranger.
The people who have the most impact in my life are those who choose to show up. And showing up is always a choice. It’s the intentional nature of it that makes it so meaningful. This person could be anywhere, and yet they have chosen to be here, with me. They show up for celebrations. For funerals, conversations, and meals. It is simply impossible to be present without first showing up. Showing up is a gift that is sometimes monumentally important, and sometimes just a drop of grace.
Abraham is fully present for these three strangers. Even while they eat, he stood near them (v. 8). He is, it seems, keen on showing up.
How often do we miss opportunities to show up and offer the present of being present?
God, thank you for those in my life who show up and give me the graceful gift of their full, undistracted attention. I pray for the awareness and courage that will allow me to be a person who shows up for others. Amen.