by Sarah Dohman
The first week I started working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I was asked to lead a team at work. My technology skills, intermediate-level at best, were required. I welcomed the challenge. I enjoyed the process of figuring out a new system of communication for my coworkers. I tend to thrive on self-paced learning opportunities.
To my dismay, I quickly discovered how many interruptions were coming my way by leading this team. I found it difficult to complete my own work tasks while leading others. I began feeling irritable: I was quick to react, and not always with grace. The constant interruptions in my work day were taking a toll on my productivity, on my attitude, and on my mind. My normal zest and joy for my job started looking different, and I disliked the change in myself.
I began to wonder, how have I welcomed interruptions? Was I gracious and kind? Or was I short with others, spewing out answers hastily so I could be left alone? In God’s kindness, and perfect timing, I picked up a book about the ways of Jesus after a long day of feeling frazzled. One of the chapters addressed Jesus’s approach to interference. Jesus was purposeful in His time on Earth. He knew He had a mission from the Father to carry out. He had a list of things to complete. And yet, Jesus moved slowly. His cadence was rhythmic. He didn’t pack his schedule so tightly that He felt frustrated when interruptions popped up. He welcomed interruptions. Matthew 9:18-25 is a perfect example of Jesus carving out time for the unexpected. Jesus’s task for the day included bringing a dead girl back to life. (I don’t know about you, but that’s never been on my “to-do” list before!) On his way to the dead girl’s house, he is stopped. A woman, ailed by a debilitating bleeding disorder, scrounges up enough faith to touch Jesus’s cloak. She takes a monumental risk, as her society would have deemed her unclean and unworthy to interact with others due to her bleeding. She didn’t care though. She knew this was her one shot at being healed. I’ve read this story multiple times, nearly always thinking about the woman and her bold faith.
Let’s let life’s “disturbances” become opportunities to love others like Jesus loves us, intentionally and mercifully.
This time, though, I was fixated on Jesus’s response to her plea. His reaction to the bleeding woman was not scorn nor shame. Jesus stopped. He saw her. He took the time, he put aside his daily intentions and mission, and he focused on this woman. He saw an opportunity to heal, and he did just that. He beckoned this woman into a life of purity and Jesus invited her into a relationship with him when she disrupted his day.
After re-reading this passage of Scripture, I felt a conviction stirring in my heart. I long to be more like Jesus. Soon enough, I found this truth rising to the surface in my heart: Jesus purposefully went about his day, slowly, with margin for interruption. And when interruption occurred, he embraced it with kindness, compassion, and sincerity. He allowed himself to pause, give time to the interruption at hand, and then resume his mission. Jesus always prioritized the healing and souls of others over his own personal agenda.
This is my daily prayer now:
Jesus, make me more like you. Help me welcome interruptions in my day with grace, kindness, and time. Help me see others’ needs above my own agenda items. Help me prioritize human connection over productivity. May my life have margin so I can care for others like you did so well.
In this time of largely staying in our homes, what interrupts your day? Have you carved out time in your day so that you can be interrupted cheerfully? Let’s be like Jesus and seek to serve others when they need us most. Let’s let life’s “disturbances” become opportunities to love others like Jesus loves us, intentionally and mercifully.
Sarah Dohman has been a part of Outward Church since it began in 2007. She serves on our Connect Team.
Love Jesus. Live Outward.
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