Your sweetheart interrupts something that you’re engaged in doing. How do you handle it? Beyond the first instinct of protecting your time and concentration, what do you do? This zone beyond our naturally self-centered focus is where we minister to our beloved. It’s where we serve Jesus, who is in our sweetheart, and where we serve our sweetheart with Jesus.
This is going the extra mile, and we do it because we care. But what if we feel like our sweetheart is not caring about us when he/she causes the interruption? It’s so tempting, so easy to feel annoyed, to get angry with our beloved, and to push him/her away. And yet, giving our sweetheart special attention, and being the center of our sweetheart’s attention, is partly why we fell in love in the first place.
Interruptions are surprise opportunities to do ministry. By forcing ourselves to pause long enough to remember this, we can unite ourselves to Jesus and respond with an attitude that says, “Certainly, my beloved. Is there anything else I can offer you to make this experience even more to your liking?”
This is not just an act of sacrificial love. It’s a good strategy. It reinforces the relationship. It protects us from future problems becoming divisive wedges. It recognizes that love is a daily choice, even a moment-by-moment choice, and it tells our beloved that he or she is still the most important person of our life.
(P.S.: While preparing this reflection, I was interrupted three times — twice by my sweetheart Ralph and once by my parents for whom I am a caregiver. Jesus gave me three opportunities to understand better what I was writing.)
- How do I handle interruptions? Do I let my initial, negative reaction take control? How can I turn it into an opportunity to love?
- How do I feel when I interrupt my sweetheart and he/she stops everything to respond with helpful kindness?
Strengthen your relationship:
Describe how you feel when you are the one doing the interrupting and your beloved responds graciously. Together design a plan for how to lovingly ask each other to hold off the interruption while you complete what you’re doing, in a way that shows mutual respect. Finish with a prayer that asks the Holy Spirit to help you become more sensitive to how interruptions affect the needs and feelings of the other.
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© 2018 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries