21 Jan

Margaret Simon‘s one little word PRESENT was fun to explore because of its many meanings. I think I know the meaning of “present” that is giving her inspiration, but maybe not…

In writing about it, I chose as my subject a Bible character who demonstrates what being present means to me, even as I used the word in several ways. (In case you’re not familiar with the story – you can read it HERE.) Though poetry says it slant, I hope you can pick up why I think it’s a powerful word to focus on for a year.

Martha, Mary, Jesus

Martha and Mary of Bethany, with Jesus (Artist unknown)


Mary’s rapt attention
is her present to Jesus.
Though kitchen’s clatter
bang, scrape and pour
together with multi-tasking Martha’s
deep and pointed sighs
make the present tense
Mary chooses to stay
present, focused, listening
to Jesus present life—
unwrap past, present
and future.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All Rights Reserved)


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This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted by Holly Mueller at her blog Reading, Teaching, Learning.


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13 responses to “Present

  1. bobbietaylor

    January 21, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Thank you for connecting this week’s focus word with the story of Martha and Mary, presented in so enlightening a way as only you can do in a poem. As much as I long to be Mary, I know the Lord constantly needs to double call me by name–to call me out of complaint, out of jealousy, out of overdoing. Thank you for presenting not only Mary, as witness to presence, but the foll in Martha, to remind us of what keeps us from enjoying His presence, from humbly sitting as His Feet, learning and being strengthened to keep things in perspective, to keep priories straight. God bless you! And thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Violet Nesdoly

      January 21, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Thanks, Bobbie. I like how you describe Martha as a “foil” for Mary. Many of us (me included) naturally relate to her even more than Mary. I still have to remind myself to sit and be. Actually, i think it’s more a state of mind than a body position though.


  2. Maureen Sudlow

    January 21, 2016 at 11:15 am

    but I always felt a sneaking sympathy for Martha…although I’m not a Martha myself

    Liked by 1 person

    • Violet Nesdoly

      January 21, 2016 at 6:34 pm

      So do I, Maureen! I am a Martha, which is why I know a bit about those “pointed sighs.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. margaretsmn

    January 21, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    The word play here works well to give a message of attentiveness. I used to be a Martha, busy bee, but as I’ve gotten older I have been able to stop and settle in to listen and be. Thanks for writing today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Violet Nesdoly

      January 21, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      “Present” is a fun word to play with! I like the fact that you used an alternate meaning than I thought you would on your post today. Lots of scope for imagination and stretching in it!


  4. Ramona

    January 21, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Wonderful connection you made in your poem: Mary’s choice to stay present, focused, listening is her present to God. I’m a Martha kind of gal so it’s good to be reminded that we need to be attentive and avoid Martha-like behavior if we want to avoid making the present tense. So much wordplay here! Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Violet Nesdoly

      January 21, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      Thanks, Ramona! I relate more to Martha too, though I’m trying to learn to be more Mary. I know it’s not so much in the loving to be busy, but the attitude one has during that busyness.


  5. cvarsalona

    January 21, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Violet, what an interesting poem you wrote about the story of Mary and Martha. I love the fact that Mary was and alert listener to Jesus’ words but also respect Martha for her attention to jobs at hand.I am starting to drop tasks when I can spend quality time with those I care about. I would like to give my full presence in meditation moe often.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. MaryHill

    January 22, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    I identify with Martha. I wanted to sit and be still a lot, but there is always to much to do or so it seems. Are we afraid in being still we see to much of ourselves? It is a challenge to be present. I think when we are present we become gifts to God. He loves for us to commune with Him. It blows my mind that God wants us to sit as His feet and love Him. He has done so much for us. I want to sit still in worship. I think when we come to worship it is easier to be present with Him.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ldk

    January 22, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    I, too, relate to Martha It’s so hard to stop the multi-tasking and learn to sit and just be still. As I get older, I’m trying to do that more, but all the busyness of life makes it hard. Thank you for your poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Holly Mueller

    January 24, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Such a perfect Bible story to apply to being present! I know a lot of women (and probably men, too) who have a hard time with Jesus’s response to Martha. Our cultural values tend to favor busy-ness and industriousness. That’s not a bad thing; but Jesus wants us to spend time with Him, and we can’t do that when we’re busy, busy, busy. Thank you for reminding us of Mary!


    • Violet Nesdoly

      January 24, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      Thanks so much, Holly — and thanks for the mention on your list of inspiration! I’m sure starting the Spiritual Journey Thursday meme took some courage but it’s been a great gift. Thank YOU!



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