More and more, the desire grows in me simply to walk around, greet people, enter their homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball, throw water, and be known as someone who wants to live with them. It is a privilege to have the time and the freedom to practice this simple ministry of presence. Still, it is not as simple as it seems. My own desire to be useful, to do something significant, or to be part of some impressive project is so strong that soon my own time is taken up by meetings, conferences, study groups, and workshops that prevent me from walking the streets. It is difficult not to have plans…not to feel that you are working directly for social change. But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn’t be to know people by name, to eat and to drink with them, to listen to their stories, and to tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs that you do not simply like them, but truly love them.