"Did you even read my email?" are words I uttered after a reply I received that felt more like a brush off than anything else. It left me feeling like I'd done something wrong and made me feel sorry I'd made a simple inquiry.
Have you ever felt dismissed? Like someone just didn't have the time to bother with you?
Several years ago I worked for a direct sales company and was winning recognition for my efforts. At a company meeting I had the chance to sit and chat with Kelley, one of the owners of the company, and as I talked with her her eyes were everywhere except for on me. I could tell she wasn't at all interested in listening to me and was sitting there only to appease me. Her eyes were searching the room for someone more important to talk to, someone else for her to connect with.
I hate the word connect. I know it's necessary and I've used it myself, but it seems cold to me. "Let's get together," has a more intimate feel than, "Let's connect." The latter feels businesslike and formal.
I sat and talked while she was not present. I wanted to be heard and she didn't want to listen. That moment has stayed with me ever since and I've tried hard to make sure I don't have a Kelley moment of my own. That I'm not showing my boredom or acting as though I want to escape.
Oh come on, you know you've had those moments when you feel that way too. It's one thing for us to feel it and quite another to make someone else know that we feel it. I've been stuck in conversations I'd rather not be in. I bring it on myself though. I ask a question because I've found it's easy to get people talking if you ask them about themselves and as an introvert it keeps me from having to divulge too much about myself. Get them talking. That's my trick. Sometimes it backfires and I'm stuck listening to stories about Great Aunt Edna and her dentures. I try to remain present. I maintain eye contact, and yet I will admit to faking a phone call at least once.
We all want to be heard. We want to be fully listened to, yet I've found that the only one who truly listens, focusing on me, is the Lord. How He can do that and listen to you at the same time is part of what makes Him God. He is that big. He is able to handle all of us with full attention at the same time. That's His superpower. Well, one of the many.
He never gets bored with me. I can't even say that about my family.
He always has time for me. No one else drops everything to listen to me.
He does not look around for someone better to talk to.
He doesn't use me to get to someone else.
He keeps my secrets to Himself.
He never dismisses me.
"....God never overlooks a single one. And He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail--even numbering the hairs on your head...." Luke 12:6-7 (The Message)
This is some serious love He's throwing our way. He listens. He cares. Always.