Variations on the Word “Present”

I have had the conversation before,
Present, present, presents, presence,
These words all similar,
But each, a unique key,
To being fully human.

Present…Here. Not absent.
An easily recognizable word for a teacher,
Each morning roll call makes monotonous,
This disyllabic word,
But so much more underneath.
Present…Aware. Conscious.
How do you hear the needs,
Of those who cry around you?
Forget the past, ignore the future,
You are made alive,
To serve in this moment now.

Present…Put forward. Show.
I would like to present to you – life.
How do you present yourself to others?
Are you caring, compassionate, giving?
Or do you tuck away your abilities,
Knowing the potential which lurks inside us all?
To present yourself well,
Be a light in the dark.

What presents do you bring?
Are they material – items which cannot last?
Or are your presents something more?
Patience, love, faith, spirit,
And which do you think the child needs,
Who waits for saving hope?

Your presence. You. Your vitality.
Your presence creates community,
Loneliness ends in your presence,
Love needs to be the music played,
And community, our instrument,
Your presence is the rich wood, the shining brass.

God is calling your name always.
How do you answer?

Let us walk in the holy presence.

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