It should go without saying, but I'm obviously not against technology. If you are reading this blog on the internet from a computer (or other device) then obviously you are not opposed to technology either. But I am opposed to bad habits with our technology that hinder our ability to see one another.
That is because there seems to be a link in Scripture between seeing others and having compassion on others. Observe the following:
Matthew 14.14 “When he went outside he saw a great crowd and he had compassion on them...”
Luke 7:13 “And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her.”
Matthew 9.36 "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."
Then there is the story of the woman who anoints Jesus. It is found in all four gospels but I want to spend a little time looking at Luke's account, found in 7.36-50. In this version, Jesus expands his teaching and emphasizes forgiveness. In verse 45, there is a dramatic shift in the story as Jesus turns "toward the woman" and says to Simon, "Do you see this woman?" In this moment, Jesus forces the conversation to switch from the academic to the personal. He makes Simon actually consider the condition and person of the woman standing in his presence, to shift his mind from the intangible to the tangible, to look at the woman.
People are real. Their needs are real; their stories are real; their problems, joys, triumphs and failures are all real. To enter into their lives, however, we need to first realize that they exist on more than partial level. And to do that, we need to look at those around us. Until that time, many will continue to look at the poor reflection of themselves on their mobile device screen and miss the needs of those around them.