Woody Allen coined the phrase that “80 percent of life is showing up.”
This statement is true, but incomplete. Showing up is more than a management tool or success formula. When you show up, you place yourself with and among people. Showing up communicates more than mere presence, it is the manifestation of affirming another person’s humanity.
Throughout the gospels, Jesus placed himself with people ranging from the religious leader to the leper, from the woman at the well to Mary and Martha of Bethany. Jesus showed up in particular places, to particular people. In doing so, God compassionately placed himself among real people. In Oscar Romero’s book, The Violence of Love, he writes that we see God in the face of the poor. But, in order to see the divine, we have to place ourselves in that position. We have to show up.
Today, a group of hunters from Epworth United Methodist Church hosted a barbeque for more than 400 people in our community. They not only served food from our parking lot, they brought the very food they had hunted: deer, elk, duck, etc… This was no mere cheap-meat cookout, it was a gift from their hunt.
I asked one of the women why she did this. She shared with me that for a short time in the 1980s she lived in our neighborhood. She said that at that time she would have given anything just to know that someone cared. So, she and the entire group travel the length of the city of Columbus to show that someone cares.
In doing this, these hunter-Methodists not only show that they care, but that God cares. In the gift of this meal, the image of Christ is seen in the eyes of the hunters and the community. Both showed up and together a banquet of grace was shared.