You know you do it too. See that person glued to their phone, hardly glancing up as they walk. Judge that person a bit for missing out on real life, going about their day seemingly inattentive to the world around them.
And if it’s at a meal table, you double judge.
Fine. I do it. All. the. time.
Every now and again we go through something that reminds us to be a bit more gracious with strangers and grateful for friends. A situation arises that and we become aware again of something that we ought to know already, that everyone is fighting something, and you just never know someone’s real story. Like a light switched on, our dark judgement gets swept away for a while.
This past month, we learned that my dad has prostate cancer. A routine physical led to follow up tests and there we were. For several reasons, he and my mom felt best about surgery as the first treatment, so he had that procedure last week at City of Hope.
So for a few weeks, we lived in the unknown. Stages, spreading, timelines, treatments were all to be determined, and all we could do in the interim was pray.
Today, the pathology report came back. The cancer was contained, as we hoped it would be, and was therefore removed by the surgery. Now they just monitor things at regular intervals.
So for the past hour, I’ve been that person with their phone. Taking the call with the good news, even though it made me late for yoga. Texting my husband, whose reply went off in the yoga class (big no-no.) Then texting several people after class, whose celebratory replies came buzzing it. Each vibration a celebration of God’s kindness.
In these moments, the most real thing in the world is on my phone.