I suppose I have never thought of presence as being a gift, but now that I have reflected upon it in my own life, I can honestly say it is. I find that when I am present instead of thinking of what was or what is still to come, I find more joy. I create more joy. I laugh more. I smile more. I love more. That in itself is a gift I can give myself and others over and over again. Choose to be present. That is the gift that keeps on giving!
There is more to presence than just being present, though. There is the peace that comes from being in the presence of our Lord. There is the comfort that comes from being in the presence of another. There is the desire within us to have presence in the midst of others and to be a presence in the room. We all want to be seen. We all long to be heard. We desire communion with our God and others.
God will not always send His answer to you in His voice, but through someone else. Know it is still by His hand and that He is omnipresent even though you may feel that He is absent or apathetic to your needs. He's not. He's just waiting for you to ask. Or to ask the right question. See yourself through His eyes. See yourself through His love for you. Have Him show you His vision of you, His beloved. His creation. His child. His daughter. And be present for His revelation of His love to you and for You...even when it comes in a package that is different than what you had imagined or expected. See it as the gift it is.
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson