The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word are called to make God’s love a real and tangible presence in the world. I often reflect on how ‘presence’ can be an integral part of our busy, hurried lives. Are we truly present even to our friends and family? This has been a soul searching issue for me, yet presence is a simple everyday thing. Here is how I found out.
About a year ago, I was ordering a cup of coffee at a Starbucks. The cashier, a strong woman clearly in charge, asked, ‘Room?’ And I drew a blank, ‘Excuse me?’ And again she just said, ‘R-o- o-m?’ I tried to wake my brain up without the coffee and all the images in my mind were, of course, of bedrooms, so I said shyly, ‘You mean as in bedroom?’ And she was exasperated, ‘I mean do you want r-o-o-m in your coffee cup for milk.’ Relieved, and now educated in Starbucks lingo, I nodded and then quickly got away from the long line of regulars.
The ‘room’ in my coffee cup every morning is my simple reminder of all the cups of my life that need more room. There is my cup of prayer, always filled to the brim with worries, difficult situations, people who are suffering, but no room for God. And there is my cup of friendship, when I gather with friends and leave wondering if I left room to really listen to the struggles of their lives. The cup of family, do I have room for them or do I assume they will always be there as they have been in the past. The cup of citizenship, how often do I leave room to participate in local non-profits as a volunteer or to join my voice to advocacy efforts.
Presence requires ‘room’ for the Divine to pour Grace gently into the cups of our daily lives.