Interrupted by God - Jack M
I read recently about a mother who too was struggling in this desire for God whilst raising two under four year olds, whilst sitting a degree in theology. She shared this with her teacher at the time:
“I get up sometimes at 5am, desperate to have time with God and it’s like my kids have radar and inevitably one of them wakes up ten minutes later. I mean, where is the icon of the mystic with one baby on the hip, a toddler crying at their feet, cooking dinner with one hand, trying to finish work on a laptop with the other? Because that’s my real life.”
Jim, her theology teacher, said, “Ok, you be you and I’ll be God. And since I’m God, I’m watching you get up exhausted every morning, and I’m so touched that you want to spend this time with me. Really, I am! It just means the world to me. The thing is, I just can’t bear how much I love you. It’s too much! And so at a certain point I rush into the bodies of your children and wake them up because. . . Jim paused. “Because I want to know what it feels like to be held by you.”
What Jesus shows us is that God’s presence isn’t just found in our quiet times, although he did find those times invaluable. But perhaps, the interruptions in our lives are the presence of God that we are so desperately trying to access in moments of stillness and silence. God’s presence is with us always and comes to us in so many ways, loving us as we do our jobs, speaking to us through the birds singing in the trees, cheering us on with a whisper. His word, reminding us of what is good and true when we most need it.
In the mothers’ case, she learnt that her life as an exhausted young parent was exactly the place of her own transformation. It’s the same with all of us. As we learn to let our heart open enough, we begin to recognize each nappy change, every play time request, every meeting or class we teach or even email we write! . . . all of it, as the incredible communion of Gods infinite love and presence with the very finite and ordinary reality of our lives.
There, in everything, is God with us, interrupting our days. . . wanting to be touched, noticed. . . held by us. All we have to do is be present.
That is absolutely wonderful. It certainly helps me for those mornings on the bus into work (a time I use to read the Bible) when I end up having to talk to someone. I've always been a bit sarcastic with God, ("OK if you don't want me to read your word then . . .") but now I can see this differently. No matter what - God is in it.