the gift of attention

There was this lovely quote posted on twitter last week.

” It is a rare and wonderful gift to simply pay attention to another person.”

How true.  When someone gives you their full attention, it is a deeply affirming experience.  Their attention says you matter.  You’re worth hearing, worth noticing, worth the time.  I appreciate it when I receive it; I desire to give full attention when I’m with people. Not always successful, but it’s my intention.

That brought a few Scripture verses to mind…

From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—
15 he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.

For many years, I thought that was all there was to God’s attention to us – He watched, wrote things down, gave a grade. He considered us and evaluated. An observer.

Another Psalm describes God’s attention to us in this way….

You know when I sit down or stand up.  You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.  You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord….

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.

How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
    They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
    they outnumber the grains of sand!

That’s not a disinterested observer.  That’s an actively involved, incredibly engaged Creator!

And one of my favorites …

I will lead you in the way you should go.  I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

My thoughts about how God pays attention changed when I understood that HE understood our dilemma – that we couldn’t live up to His standards.  There is no amount of self-effort that could make that work. So, HE did something about it– He made a way for our sin to be paid for.

… God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

  God’s attention to us is beyond understanding. a rare and wonderful gift indeed.  It’s hard to comprehend Someone who could love so generously without condition on the one being loved.  But that is Who He Is – the God who sees.  The One who Pays Attention…

to each of us.

Scriptures:  Psalm 33:13-15; Psalm 139: 2-4, 13-15, 17,18 NLT
Psalm 32:8; Romans 5:8 NASB
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