I was grabbing lunch the other day at Panera when I saw the most precious little girl EVER eating lunch with her dad.
They were in a booth surrounded by his work laptop and files, along with his two iphones at the table, going back and forth between each of them as his daughter talked his head off.
The line was rather long so I stood and watched the interaction between the two of them for a good five minutes (slightly creepy, I’m aware).
The little girl had her own markers and started drawing a picture on the back of her napkin.
From what I could see, it looked like hearts were EVERYWHERE.
As the daughter screwed the cap back on the last marker, I could hear her saying, “Daddy, LOOK! Look! Dad!!!
Dad. Look please! I drew you and me on my napkin!!!
Before the man could type his last text on his phone, tears started streaming from the little girl’s face and she crumbled up her napkin and ran to the bathroom.
I was JUST about to get to the register but I felt the need to go tell her that her drawing was certainly worth looking at.
So, I went to the bathroom and there she was ripping up her napkin in the trashcan as her little hands shook.
“Hi! I don’t know your name but I was standing near your table when you were drawing and that was such a beautiful picture of you and your dad! I loved all the colors you chose”, I said.
Her little head rose up a little bit and she said, “Really??? My dad didn’t think so.”
My heart sank.
All I could think about in that moment was how important her father’s acknowledgement was to her.
But her dad was too busy, too bogged down, too “elsewhere” to be there with her.
I don’t know the situation and granted it may have been an extremely important text message, but I think after it all happened, he would agree that his daughter’s drawing was of far more importance.
You see, something I am learning right now is that one of the most wonderful things we can be is a person who doesn’t mind being interrupted.
I don’t mean that you never take the time to focus or concentrate or that you intentionally interrupt other people, but rather that you respond to the needs of others when they knock, even if you are busy.
The truth is, we are so often like that little girl’s father, so knee deep in worry or work that we do not take the time to acknowledge those around us when they need us to.
Sometimes life’s most important meetings are those we didn’t plan.
Sometimes God puts someone in our path that we are supposed to encourage or speak life into, yet we just couldn’t find time on our ical calendar to arrange it.
I am learning that being someone who can stop doing something important to focus on someone more important is far more of a blessing to my spirit than the other person.
Reflecting on being interruptible, I always think about when we would go to the pool when I was younger.
My poor mother would sit near the diving board (as per my request) and watch every single time I jumped off.
Looking back, I often did a horrendously poor cannon ball or a painfully crooked pencil.
But I didn’t care.
Because everytime I yelled, “MOM!!!”, she looked.
It was her ability to be interrupted that made the diving board my very favorite place.
So, to you mom, thank you for looking.
I pray we all allow ourselves to be interrupted when we feel a little nudge to look someone else’s way.
The times we are given to see those napkin drawings and crooked pencil dives- THAT is important work.
Also, just know that no matter if whomever doesn’t look at your napkin drawing, your Heavenly father thinks it is a MASTERPIECE and regardless of those who view your crooked pencil dive, YOU are talented!
Praying for you friends!
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” -Colossians 3:12