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“A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.” (Proverbs 18:16 NIV)

Gifts open doors.  The right gift, at the right time will get you in front of the right people.  A gift isn’t necessarily physical.  Sometimes, the best gift is presence.  Presence in the moment is the greatest gift you can give someone.  The person you give your presence to is the greatest person in your life at that moment.

I remember when I was in college.  One of my friends wanted an internship with his favorite news personality.  She had her own production company, at the time, very popular.  He looked her number up in the phone book (before the internet) and called her.  She was so impressed, he landed the interview and the job.  She told him she had a multitude of people who wanted to work with her.  But rarely did anyone just call her and ask.  Sometimes, we miss the most obvious gift because we think it’s not enough. His phone call was a gift to her, it affected her personally for some reason.  He was present in the moment with her.  Presence is better than presents.

Presence is better than presents.

I finished listening to “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” by Lori Gottlieb this week.  One of the cases she talked about in the book was a couple who had lost a child.  The child’s death had isolated the couple from each other.  At one point, the wife says she misses her husband.  But her husband doesn’t understand why? He’s home every night, answering emails and calls from home.  She knows exactly where he is and what he is doing.  The problem is, when he is physically with her, he’s not emotionally present.

The gift of presence takes work.  We have to put our agendas aside and focus on the other person.  God has shown us the way:

“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” (Psalm 139:7 NIV)

God loves our stories. He gives us His full attention.  He doesn’t start flipping through Facebook when we tell him the same thing, yet again.  God is present in our lives.  He focuses his eyes on us.  We’re the ones who look away, not God.  God gave us Jesus, in physical form to set the example.  Jesus was present when He healed the sick, loved the unlovable and shared the truth with His followers.  His presence is the gift we need most.  Our presence is the gift others need.

God’s gift to us, Jesus, is one no one else can give. Jesus expects us to be present with others.  Our presence in other lives is a gift no one else can give.

Question of the Day:

Who needs your presence today?

Further Reading:  1 Chronicles 2:18-4:4 NIV, Acts 24:1-27 NIV, Psalm 4:1-8 NIV, Proverbs 18:16-18 NIV

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