See Others: The Power of Proximity
Dear Kaleid Women,
Today we begin a series on power and presence. Specifically, Holy Spirit power and Holy Spirit presence that help us to lean into open-hearted, loving service in the world. Whether we recognize it or not, we will all serve today. Because...
We will all have the gift of people - familiar and unfamiliar - in our lives today.
And we will all carry the gift of God’s gospel of peace inside the container that is us to those people.
And so we will serve.
It is therefore worth it to pause this morning to consider the power of proximity and the presence of the Holy Spirit to enliven our interactions.
Proximity is relational vicinity. It’s getting close enough to another to make a connection. With our kids the connection can be like cable strong enough to attach an anchor to a ship. With a person on the other end of a work-call the connection might be a piece of thread that begins to strengthen as we slowly discover that they are both colleague and friend. With a service agent in a restaurant or grocery it may be that our relational string is as delicate as making eye-contact or genuinely asking or being asked, “How are you today?”
Proximity is one mechanism whereby the Holy Spirit brings power to our relationships, and ultimately to our service. It’s powerful because it puts us into a relational field of seeing and being seen. This power is good; it is the building block of other Kingdom things like love and community.
Proximity is also powerful because it helps us to notice our privilege - our ability to walk away - and to choose instead to remain with someone in their reality, recognizing that it is different from our own. Privilege - the ability to walk away - is a loaded word, but it’s worth getting to know, getting comfortable with, because it is a blind spot can keep us from seeing the other (and ultimately from seeing ourselves).
For example, when we stay proximate to our children, we may see our own ability to walk away from social confusion or awkwardness that they struggle to manage but we have grown through. When stay proximate to a coworker, we may see our own ability to walk away from the frustrating traffic they fight on their way home because we live much closer. Or, more scarily, when we are proximate to someone from another social or racial location, we may see our own ability to walk away from hourly wages or uncertain health care because we got to participate in a great educational pathway.
This power - proximity that reveals our privilege - is one mechanism whereby the Holy Spirit brings power to our service, because it stirs us toward other Kingdom things like justice and peace.
You hold the Holy Spirit power of proximity as you walk into your day today. May He grant you His vision as your relational web continues to take shape and as your eyes see the reality of the other.
Next week, we will share a specific prayer practice that you can take into your day, helping you to notice this power of proximity more and more. We can’t wait!
May you find yourself present in your relationships today, friends!
The Kaleid Team