Just over a week ago, one of our moms went into labor. The staff members were in a meeting at the time, so we heard the news when a house coverage volunteer came to find us. Upon learning that she needed to go to the hospital, one of the other staff members “went with haste” to take the mom to the hospital and stayed with her. In the evening, we learned that the mom had delivered a healthy baby girl.
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another. ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem to see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. – Luke 2:15
One of the core values of Maggie’s Place is hospitality, and encompassed in this value is what we call the “gift of presence,” and this is just one example of it. The gift of presence is simply the acknowledgement that our priority is to the community as whole, and also its individual members. In the example of the mom who went into labor, one might see that the important meeting (which was for the sake of the whole community) was put to the side, for the sake of caring for a mom and her then unborn child.
It is a common occurrence that one task must be put on hold for the sake of another member of the community, and this is a blessing. It gives each person the opportunity to put someone else first, and to love her in that moment.
It is in a similar way that the shepherds went to see the Infant Jesus. The angels told them moments before that the Savior and Lord had been born in the humblest of circumstances, and they could not help but go to see Him. They were drawn to their feet as a result of a message from others, and chose to stay with Him out of love.