15 The Power of Not Now: Love and the Art of Presence

My son brought home a raffle ticket from school. On the back was clearly printed these words in bold type: Must Be Present to Win! It occurred to me as I looked at it that this is precisely true of the journey to intimacy: We must be present to experience the depths that love has to offer—in friendship, in parenting, and in marriage.

As I think about my experiences as a parent, what strikes me is how present most young children are when they are with another person. It is rare to catch a young child looking at the clock while with you. It is this “in the moment” presence that we find most attractive in children. As adults we often speak wistfully of those days when we had the freedom ...

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