-by Gabby Dannemiller

Recently, Heather asked what lesson we took away from our YAV year and I responded,

“Be in the moment with the person you’re with.”

While it’s really poor grammar, I stand by this statement.

In these last few months, I have had the opportunity to be with people in varying stages of their lives and have had the privilege to walk with them and just be. Some of these occasions were joyous, and some were hard, but all were important and all milestone events.

I recently visited an elderly relative who was lonely and disorganized and I spent an entire day cleaning her home. I’ve had the privilege of seeing my firstborn take his first steps into elementary school and his 13+ year journey of academics. I’ve hugged a friend whose mom, who lives in the U.K., had a stroke. And I’ve celebrated the birth day of my wonderful father-in-law with an exuberant birthday song via telephone by my kids.

I know that many of you out there are doing amazing things – social work, pastoral care, hospice, social justice – and I feel honored to be counted among you. When I look at my life, I sometimes feel like I’m not doing enough, not giving enough, not volunteering enough and that’s when I have to sit back and reflect. I need to remember my YAV year and the lesson of the ministry of presence and bask in the joy that I can be God’s servant no matter where I am and no matter how miniscule the task.

And for that I am grateful.