The importance of presence is a common theme that runs throughout the culture of Forge. We strive to understand the necessity of spending time with people. One practical expression of presence involves the simple act of neighboring. When we carve out time and space to get to know our neighbors – know them by name, eat and drink with them, listen to their stories and tell our own – we are practicing the ministry of presence. But why is it so often difficult to spend time with people that live in close proximity? What gets in the way of sharing life with those that live on the same street as we do? What keeps us from being radically hospitable?
While there are multiple reasons behind the lack of relational vitality in our neighborhoods, I believe one of the most prominent issues has to do with the lack of margin in our lives. In the book titled Margins: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, author Richard Swenson uses the illustration of the margin found on the pages of a book as a metaphor for the way our lives should be organized. You never see the words on a page run to the very edge of the paper. Neither should we live our lives constantly pushed to the very edge. In other words, there must be space, or margin, around our lives where we not only experience rest and be refreshment, but where relationships can be birthed and cultivated. Swenson writes: Read more →