Karen Gibson: There will be interruptions

How could it be the flu?

After all he had gotten a flu shot. The Visiting Nurses said for vulnerable people the extra strength type of vaccine is a good idea.

Somehow the germs got through the invisible barrier and now the nagging cough keeps him awake all night, interrupting his routine.

We all know how interruptions in our regular routine are like giant blips on an EKG machine. The wave of a healthy heart beats regularly and has rhythmic ups and downs as the heart starts over moving from one chamber to the next.

But the irregular heartbeat doesn’t perform that way, and it shows up on the screen with a rhythm that throws the whole song and dance off.

That is how interruptions in my schedule feel. I try to find the purpose that God has called me for in all of this “stuck in the mud feeling.”

I look for the signs in the stories that I hear on the radio, and the books that I pick up on my desk. What is God trying to tell me?

I recall the story of Jesus, who some have called the Miracle on the way to a Miracle. It is a story found in all three of the Gospels, Matthew 9: 18-26, Luke 8: 40-56, but I chose Mark’s 5: 21-43NRSV.

“When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.”

Verse 25 gets to the point of the story’s second interruption.

“Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.”

Perhaps the story should be called “the interruption on the way to the interruption.” Jesus knew immediately that “power had gone from him.” Yet in the midst of his new mission to heal Jairus’ daughter Jesus was not impatient. He acknowledged the power leaving him, and he knew what had happened, that a woman had been healed, made whole, and as he says, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” V.34. Jesus acknowledged that she already had faith, and it was her faith that made her well.

The interruptions caused by an illness are a big part of the reason one dreads getting sick, or in my case helping someone else get well. It is also the unknowns about the illness that leave me in a state of impatience.

But these words came to mind, “For Such a Time as This.” As I looked up the words to find out why they seemed familiar I found that a Christian singer, Wayne Watson, had written a song with that title.

The Chorus starts out “For such a time as this, I was placed upon the earth, to hear the voice of God, and do His will whatever it is, For such a time as this, For now and all the days He gives, I am here, I am here.”

When someone calls, or texts me for help, I know that God is part of that story. I am beginning to see that there are no straight paths to my destination.

What I encounter are a bunch of blips and beeps, and occasionally some rhythmic dance steps. Jesus said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” Mark 5: 34.

This is a promise I cling to and I hope you will too.

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