The Gift of Response
Updated: Jul 28
We are a.l.l. busy. Goodness knows this. It truly has become a worldwide mantra. Our society today is s.o. v.e.r.y. different from the world in which I grew up. Where families ate together every night. Children played outside until dusk (or longer, in most cases). Photos were developed “in a few days” through actual tangible film. Kids were involved in one, possibly two, sports at time. Practice times were very manageable. Teams did not travel. You went to Target once a week. You spent your time on a phone connected by a cord to. a. wall. You were stationary during conversation. (Gasp.)
Today? What a flip. It is go-go-go. Everyone has an excuse. Many times, we willingly throw ourselves into situations where our schedules become over-packed. Congested. And in some instances, almost unbearable. Without any room to breathe.
We want the “best” for our children. Of course! And in some cases, that means filling their extra-curricular activities to the brim. As well as ours. Dinners on the go. Huffing and puffing our way through traffic. Shuffling from here-to-there. Color-coding our calendars. With meetings. Practices. Birthday parties. Date nights. Craft nights. School board meetings. (I will just stop myself right there.)
So “busy” in fact, that we plain and simply forget to respond. To a simple “hello”. A message. A phone call. An email. We may even “forget” to respond more than once. Half-dozen times. Sound familiar?
I only feel remotely comfortable in sharing this post, because I have most definitely been guilty of this. Felt guilty of this. And always had that “trump card” in my back pocket: “I am so, so sorry I did not get back to you. Things have just been so busy.” (Minor fabrication. I a.l.w.a.y.s. have time. It may be at 11:00 P.M. But often, I just may choose to use it for other activities/events.)
Really, sweet souls?!! So very busy that we can no longer interact with those other beings who long for even just a bit of our attention? So busy that our “exhausted” fingers can’t type a quick “back-atcha”: “Hey girl! I just got your text. I am spending some time with my family, but what’s a good time to call you tomorrow?” Instead, we just let it blow away with the wind. For days. Weeks. Months. For e.v.e.r. Ready to back our “mishap” with every other excuse we have up-our-sleeves.
I have been on both ends. And the silent extremity of things rarely goes without a sting of sorts. That “wow,-I-must-have-done-something-really-wrong-to-not-be-worthy-of-her-time-anymore” kind of taste in my mouth. That feeling of almost being “annoying” to have reached out in friendship. In need of help. In desire of interaction.
The gift of response is a true treasure, beautiful friends. Because it involves your “precious” time. Your words. Communication. Your listening skills. Your friendship. Your willingness to be there. In the voice. In the flesh. As a companion.
Are we really that busy, beautiful spirits? That we have lost touch with how we interact with others? And yet, somehow, we can fill that “oh-so-precious” collection of moments commenting on Facebook photos, instead of answering a friend’s abandoned email from a week ago?
I am going out on a limb here…
and venturing to say “no”. We are really NOT that busy. We make ourselves seem that busy. Making adult-choices in regards to how we spend our time. Which causes a shift in priorities. Which may, in fact, need a reality-check. Myself included.
Each of us has a heart. A soul. A hand to grasp. Eyes and mouths to communicate. God made us just that way. In His image. To interact. To support. To hold one another up. In His name.
So next time that unexpected message flashes across your latest iPhone 272…or a life-long friend “dares” to attempt communication via email, take heart precious one. She reached out for a reason. Isn’t she worthy of a few moments of your time? The least she deserves is the very gift of your response.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this . . .” (John 15: 12-13)