Someone once said: “There are two kinds of people in the world: those who come into a room and say, ‘Here I am!’ and those that come into a room and say, ‘Ah, there you are!’”
Which kind are you?
The first kind, the “Here I am!” kind of person, is someone who presumes everyone’s been waiting for them. That without them, things have come to a standstill. Their appearance brings relief because people can’t get by without them. The danger, of course, is arrogance.
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t have any self-esteem. And, of course, we should all have people in our lives who look forward to seeing us. We just shouldn’t let it go to our heads! Confidence is a good thing. So there is a place for the “Here I am!” kind of person.
The second person, the “Ah, there you are!” kind of person, is someone who is focused on others; someone who makes others feel valuable and needed. This is someone who brings out good qualities in others because they take the time to actually see others and make them feel appreciated.
The danger is that this kind of person always puts others ahead of themselves and, consequently, they can end up feeling like they matter less than other people. We should all know that hiding our light under a bushel basket doesn’t help anyone. Still, being interested in other people is a good thing. So there is a place for the “Ah, there you are!” kind of person, too.
In the end, I think we should all strive to be the “Ah, there you are!” kind of person. Why? Because it is rooted in compassion for other people. It helps others feel noticed and valued, and it elicits an acknowledgment that we are all connected to one another.
It also, ironically, brings out the best qualities of the “Here I am!” kind of person. It builds confidence in other people and, importantly, in the “Ah, there you are!” person themselves. It keeps arrogance in check.
Jesus was an “Ah, there you are!” kind of a person more than a “Here I am!” kind of person. He was the embodied source of God’s empowerment and validation. He was the incarnation of God. But he didn’t let it go to his head! He continually shifted the attention from himself and onto God. In doing so, he laid the groundwork for a new way of living in which the reality of heaven can be made manifest on earth.
So maybe the best way to be a disciple of Christ, the best way to grow in your faith, is to enter a room with more of an “Ah, there you are!” outlook on life and see what happens.
I’ll bet you find a more optimistic approach to your day, positive relationships with others, and a stronger communion with God.
Ah, there you are!
See you in church,