Like Jesus, my childhood neighbor, Eva, was fully present with us. A kind, but gruff, 70-something Polish-American woman, she terrified and delighted children when I was growing up. Some kids were afraid of her. They occasionally threw rocks at her dogs. They made fun of her long, wild, white hair; her rough clothing; and the plastic grocery bags that lined her muddy rubber boots.
But my brothers and I loved her wholeheartedly. Our parents trusted her completely, and she considered us her family. “You’re my children, too,” she’d say. Jesus, like Eva, welcomes us–telling us who God is, who we are, that we matter and that we belong. It’s worth celebrating that there are no limits to God’s love, that God’s real presence is with us, that God just won’t let us go.
This message is excerpted from “Real presence,” by Elizabeth Hunter in the January/February 2019 issue of Gather magazine.
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