The following post is written by my daughter, Mary. I hope it is a blessing to you.
“It’s never too late to live a remarkable, inconvenient life given to the interruptions of now. That is what love is too: Love is the willingness to be interrupted.” Ann Voskamp
I read these words last night, and they stopped me in my tracks: “Love is the willingness to be interrupted.” No one knows a life of interruptions quite like a mom, and no one is worse at being interrupted than me. As a recovering perfectionist with a task-oriented personality, I often find myself immediately frustrated when the task I am attempting to complete is left undone. Over the last few weeks, I have been feeling the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit in these moments of my impatience and frustration. In His ever patient way, I have felt the Lord whispering there’s a better way, a way more like His. “Love is the willingness to be interrupted.” These words are both searing and healing to my soul because, while being incredibly convicting, they also remind me that there is hope to be made new, to learn another way — to learn His way.
Ann Voskamp’s words sounded particularly loud as I thought back to a moment from my day: I was washing the dishes, as my very busy toddler wandered in and out of the kitchen. She was carrying various toys into a little corner of my kitchen, and while I was talking to her as she came and went, I think she knew she did not have my full attention. After a few minutes, she came over, wedged herself between me and the sink, wrapped her little chubby arms around my legs, and began to insist “Mommy, come sit. Mommy, come sit.” I found myself annoyed at her insistence as I wanted to finish the dishes, but she would not relent. And as I took a moment and looked down at my little girl, I saw the pleading in her eyes. I immediately turned off the water, followed her to her little corner and took a seat. As soon as I was cross-legged on the floor, she crawled into my lap and pulled up a book from her pile of treasures. We spent the next fifteen minutes reading together, right there on the kitchen floor. It was the sweetest part of my day, and I am wrecked at the thought of almost missing it, simply because there were dishes in my sink.
And then another thought came to mind: How often do I miss communion with Jesus because I am too busy? Because I refuse to be interrupted from my to-do list? Because I’m more focused on what I can see rather than what I cannot?
“Love is the willingness to be interrupted.”
The interruptions will come; it’s a guarantee, but am I willing to embrace them? To take a deep breath and choose joy? To see that nothing is more important than the people I have been given to love?
After all, Jesus lived a life of interruption. He exemplified a life spent for others. In Philippians we read that “He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8). Jesus chose to be interrupted, from a life of perfection in heaven with His Father, to come to earth. To be trapped in the limitations of a human body. To experience loneliness and brokenness, hunger and thirst. To be murdered on a cross. And He choose this interruption for you and for me. He showed us that love — real, raw, lasting love — is always worth the cost to ourselves, and in doing so, He has given us life.
If you look at His life, it was full of purposeful interruptions — the woman at the well, Zacchaeus in a tree, a centurion asking for his servant to be healed. Jesus ALWAYS stopped and chose people. In fact, it almost seems like He was constantly waiting to be interrupted, looking for those who needed Him as He walked among us. I love this about Jesus because He continues to do the same for us. He’s always waiting for us.
And what would happen if we lived like He did? Like actually loved people the way Jesus showed us to love? What if each of us chose to live a life of constant interruptions and inconveniences that is bursting with His sacrificial, un-tameable love? We live in a culture that tells us life is about us, but Jesus’ ways are radically different. He actually says we will only find our lives if we are willing to lay them down. Please know, I am in no way suggesting you should not care for yourself, but I do think a mindset shift is necessary if we are going to learn to live the way Jesus wants us to live, to love like He did. Because I am learning we can only truly love if we are willing to live a life that is not about us.
Please know I am on this messy, refining journey with you and am nowhere close to arriving. I am stumbling my way through early motherhood, growing and being humbled daily by all I have yet to learn, but one desire is beginning to burn deeper than any other. I long to do this season well. To love deeply and be found faithful. To “live a remarkable, inconvenient life given to the interruptions of now.” After all, what else really matters.
Dear one, I hope you are encouraged today to look at what seem to be inconveniences and interruptions and realize they are probably opportunities to love. And in choosing to love, we become a little bit more like Jesus, one day at a time.
*Quotes by Ann Voskamp are taken from her book The Broken Way. I highly recommend.