04 October 2011

Lessons from Life's Little Interruptions

I'm in the capital for a week taking a course on the Ponsetti Method for Club Foot Treatment.  Exciting, I know!!  I drove in yesterday with one of our doc's and one of our team leaders.

As it usually is traveling in this country, our trip was a bit of an adventure, complete with having to push-start the car from the side of the road and making new friends with a random boy named Sadou from a random village somewhere a few hours between Galmi and Niamey.  But those are stories for another day.

As we were just a few more kilometers outside one of the bigger towns along the way, we passed two women carrying a limp child.  We pulled over.  They were trying to get to her to the hospital in the town we were approaching.  They had already walked very far from their village just to get to this point.

I moved the large sacks of to-be-given-as-gifts famous-Galmi-onions and squeezed over.  The two women climbed in the back seat with me.  When we got to the town, our doctor-turned-chaufeur got out and examined the little girl.  She had malaria.  He happened to be carrying quinine.

She fought as we gave her the first dose, and he explained to momma and granny the dosage for the next few days.  We prayed for little Mariyama and dropped them where they could find a bush taxi to get back home.

Momma tried to pay us, first with money, then with koko (a watery porridge made of millet), then with the necklace her little girl was wearing.  We assured her that payment wasn't necessary.

You know, I've been thinking a lot lately about interruptions.  Recently I heard that 'interruptions were the majority of Jesus' ministry.'  And it's true . . . I was just reading in Mark this morning about the time when He was teaching inside a house and all of a sudden, there was hole in the ceiling and down drops a man who had been paralyzed!  Right in the middle of His lecture!  I mean, really?!?!  Where's the respect!!!  The Son of Man was in the middle of teaching!

But what does Jesus do?  How does He respond??  He doesn't get angry . . . or even a little grumpy.  No, He tells the paralyzed man that his sins are forgiven because of his great faith . . . and then, to have a little bit of fun with the Pharisees, He says, 'Dude, get up, roll up that mat you've been laying on, and walk on out of here!'

And what about the time that He was walking through town, surrounded by the mob, when all of a sudden He stopped and asked 'Who was that?  Who touched Me?'  And the bleeding woman courageously identified herself.  She too, is told that her faith is great, her sins are forgiven, and her body is healed.

I could keep going, but we all get the point.  So, if the Disciple-Life is about becoming more and more like Jesus, why do I let minor interruptions irritate me so?  When I'm walking through the hallway in the hospital and someone yells 'Madame!' or 'Amatta!' or 'Baturiya!' or 'Likita!' or even 'Déborah!' why don't I see that as the same opportunity for kindness, care, and Christ-likeness as stopping on the side of the road for sick little Mariyama, her mom, and her granny?


AmyBeth said...

I needed this today! Thank you for the reminder that Christ saw interruptions as opportunities.

Nadiaparada said...

Hello, first time commenting but just wanted to say that you are so right, actually I just finished reading  the book "The Cause Within You" and one of the things that have stuck in my mind was something that goes like this: "Be awware of your surroudings, there are opportunities to help everywhere.." so basically is saying that even if we are going somewhere, fdoing something r simply driving somewhere, we have to have our "helping antenna" ready to see where there is a need...just like Jesus did. God bless you sister for all your are doing with all these lovely people! I admire your work and read your blog daily, I love to see your courage to make a difference in people's lives - putting yourself at the side, truly: loving your neighbor as you love yourself. I love you sister in Christ. 

Deb. said...

Thank you so much Nadia!! I will have to see if I can get my hands on a copy of that book, it sounds great.

Thank you for reading so faithfully!! And for commenting. May you have a blessed day!

Deb. said...

I know, it's such an attitude checker, hey?!?! I find myself in need of that reminder quite often!

Sarah Fountain said...

Another side note about the woman with a flow of blood - Jesus was on his way to raise Jairus' daughter when the woman touched Him.  I imagine in your line of work, you feel like you can't address interruptions because you have other healing to do elsewhere.  That didn't prevent Jesus from responding to the woman's need, at least in this particular situation.

Deb. said...

So true!!! Thanks for pointing that out! Completely forgot that part of the story!

Kari said...

An AMAZING post, Deb.  Thanks for sharing this God-story, and for challenging my own attitude and perspective!

Deb. said...

Thanks Kari!