The Present of Presence

Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Presence is a gift. It is a present like none other. It is the gift of one spirit completely focused on another spirit. Love, Time and Talent are brought to focus in that singular moment. Presence is personal. Giving the gift of presence requires a mindful choice. We choose to be solely focused on a person or an experience in that moment. If there are distractions, we’ve not chosen to be present.

This is an age of distraction. Phones interrupt conversations. Work distracts from family. Social media replaces friendship. Electronics mindlessly absorb time. Parents ignore children in favor of Facebook. People text one another, while sitting across the table from each other. The art of letter writing is passing away. The craft of the personal phone call is on life support. The days of a personal visit to someone’s house, for some time with coffee on the porch, is thought to be odd.

Presence takes focus. A complete presence, giving all to another human being, for a period of time, is a present, a gift. When we focus a letter on someone, focus a phone call on someone, or focus a home visit on someone, we gift love to that person. We reach into our souls and extract a measure of love. That measure must come without strings. When we gift time to a person, we reach into the limited time that God has gifted to us and we extract a portion to spend on another.

Give the present of your presence to someone needing it today. In the end, it will not be the present that the child remembers, but the presence. It won’t be the compliment the spouse recalls, but the presence. It won’t be the praise the pastor treasures, but the presence.

When we’re called home, the Bible is quite clear. We won’t be judged on the presents we brought, but how present we were as we brought them. God won’t ask about the gift we gave, but about our heart as we gave it.

Our presents mean nothing to God in the absence of our presence.

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