I was safely ensconced in an easy chair by the fireplace, headphones blocking out most of the chatter around me. On Friday mornings I like to go to places like Panera to take care of tasks like writing, email and yes, blogging.
A different kind of sound that filtered through my headphones caught my attention.
At a nearby table a dad was reading a book to his preschool age boy. The kid’s face shone with the wonder of the story and the anticipation of what was going to happen next.
And maybe with the delight of a bagel and book with his dad.
Maybe such a thing shouldn’t be considered the stuff of heroes but don’t ask his son that. For myself, I’d like to nominate him just for the rarity of the sighting. Far too often when I’m out and about I see parents and kids and sometimes entire families sitting at tables in silence, heads bowed before their individual screens.
What could be more important than the people you love?
For God’s sake, for the sake of the God who created us to be in community “(it was not good that man should be alone”) put down your phones and shut off your tablets.
Not all of the time. But when we’re with each other.
Because the cat video is probably going to be there later.
Because our time together, while seeming long while we’re living it, in truth passes as fast as a minute. Friends move away and family members die and the presence we took for granted becomes absence.
Because we cannot know each other if we do not tend to each other, and if we do not know each other our connections will always be stunted, falling short of the depth and richness they could bring.
Because that person on the other side of your screen is created in the image of God and may have something to teach you, something to give you, something that encourages you or something that surprises you.
For the love of God and the love of God’s children, put the screen down. There’s a little boy who needs you to read that puppy story again. There’s a spouse who needs you to see them, really see them. There’s a friend who has chosen to spend their precious time with you.
For the love of God, put the screen down.