“So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah.
The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”
Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The man replied, “How can I unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.” - Acts 8:27-31
When I’m carrying on a conversation with another person, there is nothing quite like the feeling of attentiveness. Talking with someone who is showing genuine interest in me and my views gives me a sense of being heard. Eye contact, simple nods, and minimized distractions further give that impression. Sometimes we engage people, but are too busy thinking about what we are going to add to the conversation. We simply forget to listen.
With the introduction of the cell phone, the art of attentiveness has gone by the wayside. I’ve seen couples carry on a complete conversation with one another while both are looking and interacting with their cell phones. And while multitasking is the strategy of the day, it does very little for the care of another person.
We’ve also carried on a conversation with someone while they kept looking around at other things. Maybe they’re working on a computer or doing some household chore. There’s nothing wrong with two people sharing a task and talking, but if one person engages while the other keeps working, it sends a clear message - I’m KIND OF listening to you. However, stepping away from the computer or setting down the garden tool says to the other person “You’re more important than the task at hand.”
TRY IT: When someone starts a conversation with you while you are working, immediately stop the project and give them eye contact attention. Don’t start back working until they walk away and thank them for the information.