Word for the Weekend: Present

“It’s possible to present a present in the present while present but not present.”

Once again we have come to the time of year when we celebrate the birth of our Savior. It’s a time when we reflect on our relationships with family and friends. And it’s a time when we open ourselves for the giving and receiving of gifts. Presents. Tokens of our love and appreciation. One of the ways we express our love for one another.

But the word present doesn’t only apply to gifts. I remember sitting in homeroom in school, bored out of my mind, while the teacher took attendance. She wanted to confirm that we were all present. Here. Some of my teachers even required that we respond to hearing our name by replying with one of those words–present or here.

Of course, present can also refer to a place in time. We are neither in the past or the future, but we exist perpetually in the present. I confess that I am a huge Doctor Who fan. The present version. Not so much the past version. Although, with his being a time traveler, things can get a bit confusing. The Doctor had this to say about time: “People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey… stuff.” If we travel to the future, are we not still in the present? I digress….

Still another use of the word comes with a slightly different pronunciation — prē – zent’. When we show or give something to others, we present it. “Ladies and gentlemen, I now present to you… Bing Crosby!” Sometimes we have to give a presentation at work or school.

My final use of the word, and what may be the most important at this time of year, is to be engaged with, and invested in, another person. Not just there physically, but mentally and emotionally. Not seeing someone but looking past them. SEE them. Be PRESENT with them. This is how we affirm the timeless truth from our Father in Heaven — ALL people are important. And ALL people deserve to be treated that way. Jesus was present with everyone with whom He spoke. (Not to mention that we’re told to be like Him!)

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and they were looking around the whole time you were talking? Perhaps they were checking their Facebook. Maybe they were trying to find someone more interesting with whom to speak. You probably felt insignificant. Perhaps angry. Definitely not important.

It’s possible to present a present in the present while present but not present. Say that ten times fast!

Give freely of yourself this Christmas. Show the love of Christ by being present for others. As the greatest Present ever given, Jesus was and is present for us.


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