There's a much-used sermon illustration about a little boy who was frightened by a storm one night. Several times he cried out in fear and his mother would come to his room for comfort and to remind him that God was always with him. As she prepared to leave the third time her son grabbed her arm, held tight, and said, "I know Mommy, but I want God with skin-on!"
I have been blessed this week by appearance after appearance of "God with skin-on."
I have seen "God with skin-on" in hospital rooms as friends gathered for prayer and support.
"God with skin-on" has been in doctors offices for pre-op visits and provided transportation for follow-up care.
"God with skin-on" has been present in hugs and handshakes, laughter and tears, conversation and quiet.
Sometimes "God with skin-on" has delivered a meal and provided companionship for an afternoon.
The late Wayne Oates, a marvellous professor and practitioner of pastoral care for generations of students at Southern Seminary, called this idea of "God with skin-on" the ministry of presence. Dr. Oates reminded us that whenever we visit we share our lives with someone and when we go in the name of Christ and his church we become the powerful presence of God, as well.
We are all glad for "God with skin-on" in the dark, stormy, scarey times of life.