I have been thinking of this blog for awhile, trying to figure out how to convey what’s on my heart. I don’t know any other way than to introduce you to my friend named, Al, an older gentleman with kind blue eyes and a broad, friendly smile. A man who learned early that each moment of the day is sacred and needs to be offered to Christ.
What An Uninterrupted Life Looks Like
What I mean by this, is that when Al went out and about during his day he wasn’t just focused on the things he had to accomplish, he instead was aware of those around him who might need prayer. Whether Al went to Costco or the 99 Cent Store, he was open and available to speak life into someone’s heart. He always approached them with love, while asking if they needed prayer and then he would share the gospel of Christ with them. He didn’t allow fear or embarrassment to stop him, he was far past that, for he knew the answer to their pain and it didn’t matter if it interrupted his day.
Al also liked to visit hospitals and pray for those who desired it. He listened to their problems and offered comfort and kindness while always reflecting the love of Christ. In Al’s eyes every day was an opportunity to minister to others. He didn’t wait for a directive, he just did what he knew was right in his heart; remind people that they are cherished by God and that he truly cares about what they’re going through.
An Unexpected Day
On Mother’s Day this year Al was at home with his precious wife and he heard a knock at the door…a pest control salesmen going around the neighborhood on a Sunday of all things, to sell his service. I could see myself hurrying him off in frustration at the thought of him even coming by on this special day, but not Al. He lived a life interrupted. He of course started talking to him about Jesus, inviting the young salesman in as they discussed his Mormonism. Al gave him pamphlets of the truth of Mormonism; never in rudeness, but always in kindness and grace. Then he invited him to play some ping pong and they enjoyed a few rounds of the game Al loved. After awhile the young man left as Al and his wife bid him goodbye.
No one knew that, that was to be Al’s last day of playing ping pong or the last time he would invite a stranger into his home…but it was. Al passed away a few days later after having a heart attack that evening. Playing ping pong with a stranger, in his final hours while sharing Christ, was an example of how Al lived a life interrupted. He wasn’t on a big stage preaching, he wasn’t selling his ‘brand’, he was instead giving of himself to a fellow human being so that he might come to know Jesus. He was allowing his day to be interrupted by a stranger, who needed to hear about the most divine love ever offered. Al availed himself and the moments of his day to the Holy Spirit so others might be know the Truth. It’s how Jesus lived… a life interrupted… as many of his miracles were performed on the way to helping someone else.
The Need to Be Interrupted
My life seems to have become an endless list of things to do. I don’t know if it’s the way with you, too. We barely look up to see the person scanning our groceries or preparing our food and coffee anymore. So many people are silently suffering in loneliness; craving for others attention, but not knowing what to do. Maybe we can start by putting our phones down and engage in conversation with the people we meet each day. Perhaps this could help put an end to the isolation and loneliness that others seem to be engulfed in.
At least we can start…maybe first with allowing ourselves to be interrupted by a phone call from a friend or from our kids who need help for the 10th time. We may have to pull away from social media to do this and start limiting it so we can be present with whomever we’re with at the moment. People are hurting terribly everywhere we go… some in enormous pain. The female phlebotomist who drew my blood last week lost her son a year ago. Can you imagine the heartbreak she’s going though? Being so deeply wounded emotionally, while still having to do the mundane task of finding my vein? If she would have blown out my vein I would have probably been irritated, not even realizing the suffering that was taking place within her soul. A lesson that reminds me to offer grace wherever I go.
It might seem overwhelming to try and make a difference through our actions during our day. Too often we believe the lie that kindness doesn’t matter and that no one cares whether or not we notice them, so we just keep busy and get our lists completed. But that’s not true, as you have probably encountered those times when someone, even a stranger, did something special for you that made your day.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be more aware of others around me and make myself present to them mentally and emotionally. I need reminders and encouragement at times and I pray you will join me so we can help each other with ideas of how to minister to those around us. If we all start sharing the love of Christ it will bring healing to other’s souls and our own too.
Beginning the Interruptions
Are you tired of the apathetic way of life we have grown accustomed to? The times are desperate and life can’t just be about our problems and agendas anymore. If we are waiting to have time or to feel like it, we will be waiting for a very long time and beautiful opportunities will be missed. So, I ask you, are you willing to have your life interrupted? If so, let’s begin our day with prayer asking the Lord to open our eyes to those who need encouragement. He will certainly give us the wisdom and strength to do it. I have never asked a stranger if they needed prayer before, so in honor of Al, I tried it. And you know what? The people were kind and gracious and said yes… I was so surprised! You can start however you want…perhaps call that friend you’ve been meaning to or visit those who are lonely. Freely give smiles and compliments as you go about your day and you will notice the joy that will well up in your own heart.
I pray as we make this a habit we will all begin to look at the moments in our day as sacred and surrender them to God to be interrupted. And remember we don’t always plan a life of interruptions, so when it happens, go in peace knowing that God has his own plans for you to bless others.
Something I constantly need to be reminded of: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his/her own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4