For a video version of this blog, go to https://youtu.be/GT63CtJtIe0
You have probably met a man at some point with this singular quality. You can’t define it. You can’t quantify it. You can’t put words to it. But you feel it. You see it. You know he has something that most men don’t have. This is a man who has presence.
I remember meeting someone like that sometime ago at a birthday celebration. As I listened to him and watched him interact with others, I was immediately drawn to him. He wasn’t flashy or pompous. He wasn’t loud or ostentatious. But he was all there — in his words, actions, and reactions. I’m sure there were others traits he possessed that all men universally prize: courage, confidence, integrity, grit. But that’s not what I felt.
No, this was something else. This was presence — his presence. The only descriptor I have ever found for this is solid. There was something solid about him, something that left imprints on those around him. I was one of those who was so imprinted. I imagine I was not the only one.
When men see a man with presence, he immediately commands respect. I think because men who exude that solidity are so rare. And that is also the tragedy. They are so rare. Most men do not feel solid. They feel thin and shrunken, riveted to cravings they cannot satisfy, bent down by shame they cannot escape. They exude a wispiness, drifting along the currents of daily events and the tides of social expectations.
There is one other place we can also see presence. We get a fleeting glimpse of it in the heroes we love on the big screen and in the stories we read. Something is refracted through them, something as real as it is mysterious. We know without being told this is good and right and true. This is what a man should be. But that glimpse fades as quickly as it came.
We tasted presence. But we can only taste it. We can’t own it.
But what if there was a pathway to own it? You may be in your 20s, trying to figure out where you life is going. You may be in the 30s, trying to negotiate the headwinds of marriage. You may be in your 40s, trying to manage the challenges of family and finances. You may be 50 and older, trying to chart a meaningful way through your latter years. Wherever you are though, finding and owning presence will change everything.
What is that pathway? It is finding that presence in another man who had it — Jesus. Just a casual perusal of the gospels shows that He radiated presence. He was all there — pulsating with energy and being. He was God’s presence incarnated. And the pathway to owning presence yourself is both direct and demanding: it is letting His presence invade you, shooting through every fiber and neuron in your body and soul.
Jesus became a man to make us into men. This is His promise.
My work with men is to help them experience His’ presence so that they can become men of presence. This is my hope.