“As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.” (Luke 8:42-44).
The story will be familiar: Jairus’ daughter is ill, and Jesus answers his request to visit and heal her. But then comes an unexpected interruption, to which Jesus gives his full attention. The way in which we deal with unexpected interruptions reveals much about us, our priorities, and the shaping of our lives into Christlikeness. This morning a friend told me that yesterday morning he had set aside an hour to pray and listen to God, only to be unexpectedly interrupted by a telephone call from someone needing to talk to him. My friend kept trying to extricate himself from the conversation so that he could return to the “important things”. After 45 minutes the caller hung up, and my friend realised that he had been doing the “important things” all along just by listening and being available. May we be those who, like Jesus, are able to trust in God our Father that the unexpected interruptions to our agendas are opportunities to be attended to with love, compassion and care, rather than those who bulldoze their own expectations and agenda through regardless of the cries of the poor and hurting.