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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Boutiette

Together But Apart

Updated: Apr 1, 2023

"We were enjoying one another while eating..."

As we sat in the dining room of a seafood restaurant, it took some time to order our food and then eat our family meal together. My husband and I talked and laughed while playing a simple game of tic-tac-toe with our oldest granddaughter.

But I kept observing the older couple “dining” at the table next to ours. Both held an iPhone in their hands only looking up to take a bite off of their very full plates. Not once, was there a word or glance exchanged between this couple. I found it rather sad or odd that they could sit through an entire meal together, yet not engage with one another in conversation.

Later, after we paid the bill and left the restaurant the same couple still had their attention buried in their phones. Even my husband commented on the couple when we were in the car and on our way home.

They were together, but apart.

"Not once did the couple engage with one another..."

Perhaps they’d fought and this was a mutual silent treatment. Maybe this was just normal behavior to them. I found it rather sad though. Partaking of bread, or a meal is supposed to be a time of fellowship and coming together as a family and with others. It’s a time to catch up on one another’s day or life in general. It’s a time to just be together and enjoy one another.

Somehow the older couple missed the deeper meal of just enjoying time together—it seemed to me. There’s a life lesson here. We can all be present, yet absent.

Kind of reminds me of the church sometimes. How often do we show up at church, but our hearts are far away? Or we’re distracted with other things too preoccupied to tune into God. Maybe we’re mentally going over our “to-do “ lists or get distracted by an incoming text message and didn’t even hear the message preached. We’re not tuned into God, the worship, or the service. We’re elsewhere.

Together, but apart.

God is highly relational. He wants our undivided attention. And if something is bothering us, He wants to know. He wants us to communicate with Him and vice versa. He wants hearts that engage with Him, and that fellowship with Him. He doesn’t want distracted worship, as that’s no worship at all. He deserves our attention, our time, and our fellowship. Otherwise, we’re just taking up seat space and while we’re present, we’re absent or far apart from the God we were created to worship, love, and serve. Instead, take time to truly engage with God.

"God wants to engage with us too..."


I long for a living, vibrant relationship with you. But you allow too many distractions to interfere with the deep relationship I long to have with you. Set aside time to truly fellowship with Me. Let nothing hinder our relationship. I want all of your heart and attention in times of worship. I want you present and for us to be together. You are My beloved one.

“Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live...” (Isaiah 55:3)

“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him. To all who call upon Him in truth.” (Psalms 145: 8)

“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9)


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