Interruptions

March 17, 2021

“Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” (Genesis 28:16)

Interruptions can be the bane of life.  How many times have you been engrossed in a task or been working against the clock only to have someone call, text, or show up, needing your attention now?  How did you respond?  Those moments can be real tests of patience.  We modern people are geared for efficiency—getting things done and getting them done this instant.  Time is a premium.  All you interrupters, leave us alone, please.  We have more important things to do.  But where do those “more important” things really get us?  Or bless us?  Or bless others?  Or have a lasting impact?

I have had many an interruption in my life as a mother, a wife, a writer, and a pastor.  I admit that too many times I chose efficiency over love.  I needed to get dinner made, finish a project, write a sermon, plan a worship service.   I couldn’t play right now, sit down with my spouse, or listen to a problem at that moment.  Make an appointment, please.  Yes, sometimes the clock is ticking and we really can’t be interrupted, but too often we miss the presence, that one single moment in time that will never repeat itself, of being with another person, of being with the One we call God.  We miss the gift of the sacred moment.

As we continue our journey through Lent and focus on giving to instead of giving up, I want to see interruptions in a different light and be thankful for them.  I want to be able to stop whatever my efficiency-driven brain is doing and give to another—extend myself, my time, and my attention.  Interruptions can be transformed from tests of patience into opportunities of sharing and receiving.  It is often in there that Love is revealed, that a message from the Creator is offered, that the gift of presence is truly a blessing.  Then we, like Jacob of the Old Testament with too much on his mind, can say with wonder, “Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it.”  Blessings of interruptions to you. ~ Rosemary

Contemplation with Cat

Dear Cat, who asked you here
into my time of prayer
and up to my empty lap?
I did not invite your rumbling purr
to vibrate within my silence
nor did I request ten sharp nails
to knead my thigh while I attempt
to center, to settle, to be.
O Tabby One, you may quit circling
round and round like restless thoughts
that I am anxious to release. Do not
shove, once again, against
the sacred prayer book to plant
your face upon my chest or anchor
your leg across my arm as if
to claim me. Those moss green
eyes must cease their languid
steady blinking mirrored
in my own, your feline ways
an interruption intent to sway me
from my aim to pray, to sit,
to allow Silence her place,
Love its own seat,
Worship to mimic
the echo of my heart. I should
set you aside and close
the door. Yet here you are
flesh, bone, and vocal chords,
a muff on which to rest
open hands, a chorus
of pleasure rising from your body,
a solid symbol that it is in the very
moment of what is
that I AM delights
to welcome me.

© Rosemary McMahan

Published by rosemarymcmahan

Poet, writer, minister, traveler on the way

4 thoughts on “Interruptions

  1. Some years ago when I was meditating mornings before work (around 6am), both our cats always found me and, one by one, jumped on my lap to circle, plop and “pray” with me. I wish I’d had your poem then!! I always felt a bit “guilty” about the quality of my time when their presence was really a “moment that I AM” delighted in me. In my heart I knew “God is surely in this place”. Your post both helps me and inspires me very much. Ps: and how I miss Nick and Nora, our two cats, greatly at this moment. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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