“You give them something to eat.” – Luke 9:13
There must be some kind of sacrament to interruptions, like at open-air assemblies or picnics, where some spiritual guru demands your food.
My husband and I sat down to evaluate our life the other day. We realized that everything important that had happened was an accident, not an intention. We were steered by interruptions, not by grand plans. When Daddy died. When the twins were born. When the call to Chicago came. When the settlement for the car accident made the down payment. When the book didn’t sell. When the friend in Paris died. When we were lost in Vermont.
A friend told me the story of how she was jinxed in the seventh grade by a certain project she had to do. It was to build a birdbath, out of any materials she could find. I don’t know why that assignment interrupted her. But I do know that another kid in her class built it for her, permitting her to advance. Accident? Angel mischief? Coincidence? Who knows? What is clear is that we get by with the help of our friends.
Another friend tells of not knowing what to do in high school so she enrolled as a shop major, becoming the first woman so to do. She has a rewarding career as a carpenter. Not knowing what to do next is often the best platform for finding the unusual. Why not you?
Jesus is an interrupter, not just a disrupter. There is a difference. Disrupters tear down; interrupters build up. They let you enter the unknown feast.
Permit us to understand interruptions as sacraments, as ways that the Holy enters our home. Let there be wholeness to my life and let me see interruptions as commandments.
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her most recent book is I Heart Frances: Letters to the Pope from an Unlikely Admirer.