Have you been “phubbed”?

Have you been “phubbed”? 
Relearning to give our FULL attention to others
– Pastor Rachel Gilmore 
     I was reading an article today from the Atlantic on “phubbing” or using your phone to snub someone during conversation.  It’s happened to all of us, right?  We are catching up with a friend and they glance down at their phone and send a quick text or tweet, perhaps looking up to sheepishly say, “Sorry, I really had to get back to that person.”  Ironically, the more you “phub” others, the more likely you are to be “phubbed”?  I was at a restaurant last week with my family and the table next to us had a family of four and ALL of them were on their phones from the moment they ordered until their food arrived, just scrolling through facebook feeds or snap chatting with friends.   It makes me wonder if we struggle more in our relationships with God, others, and ourselves because we don’t know how to give something our full attention and be complete present in the moment. 
     We live with this perpetual fear of missing out (FOMO) and while our attention is constantly diverted to who is having fun, we aren’t able to see what is right in front of us. Have you ever been talking to someone that you care about, a friend, a family member or spouse, and they have had to ask, “Are you listening to me?”  Do we give the people that matter most in our lives 100% of our attention and listen to them when they are talking to us?  There are these small slivers of time, little windows where our kids will open up and try to share their fears or anxieties with us, there are moments when our significant other is having a really terrible day and just wants someone to understand what they are going through and we will let down the ones we love most if we can’t stop what we are doing and listen.


     We serve a God who gives us God’s full attention and sees what we are going through, even when no one else does.  Do you know that the first few books of the Bible are FULL of examples of God giving things a name like “light, dark, stars, moon, plants, animals” but the first person in Scripture to give God a name was a woman named Hagar?  She was a servant in Abraham’s home and became pregnant with his child after Sarah forced her into Abraham’s bed.  Sarah became jealous of her servant Hagar and began to mistreat her.  So Hagar was a single, unwed mother fleeing an abusive situation and found herself in the wilderness, unsure of what to do next.  It was there, by a spring in the desert that the Lord comes to her and asks the powerful question, “Hagar, slave of Sarah, where have you come from and where are you going?”  God is showing that God knows her, knows her situation and is listening.  At the end of their conversation, Hagar calls God El Roi- the One who Sees me, because in her distress, God was the one who gave her attention, who saw what she was really going through. 

     So, I’m not sure what you are facing right now.  Maybe you are having a Hagar moment as you try to figure out where you are coming from and where you are going or maybe there is a Hagar in your midst.  Maybe there is someone who just wants to be seen and heard, someone who is struggling and feels alone in the wilderness.  May you follow in the footsteps of the One who created you in the divine image and give your full attention to SEE the ones you love.  For at least a few minutes, put down your phone, put down your work or chores or to-do lists and give them attention, give them your support, give them hope.  It just might change their life and yours too!

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