Recently I met a truly wise woman of God. We were at a Writer’s Conference and she was facilitating the Poetry track. As this was not my group I had little reason to interact with her. Every morning, however, Heather would read a reflection, her soft Irish accent breathing life into the beautiful slow words, lifting them up to dance, and touch my soul.

Early on the last morning of the conference I came across Heather bent over her preparation notes. She smiled as she saw me and asked if I had enjoyed the conference. Soon we were deep in conversation. She listened carefully, answered thoughtfully and shared—with more than just words—of herself. What a precious moment when I apologized for interrupting her preparation time and she said (with a smile that made me know she meant it): “Oh, but what a lovely interruption it was!”

Heather may very well have forgotten this brief encounter, but for me it was very significant. I learnt that small interactions can touch one deeply. I am driven by plans and time and am not sure that—if I had been the one doing the preparation—I would have been as gracious as Heather. If it had been me, I may merely have said a polite ‘hello’ and then put my head down in a clear and loud ‘don’t interrupt me now’ kind of way.

But I wonder how many less lives I touch by shutting out the interruptions?

Jesus, too, allowed interruptions to change his plans. He was never too busy to touch—or be touched—by another.

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  1. Oh, finally I managed to post a comment!!! A short one, because I had almost given up commenting. I see Heather in my imagination and she had time to LISTEN, which is such an ART. We are often too busy.

  2. I can also be a witness of the truth about Heather Johnston – for the past 20 years she has been my spiritual director and role model. Wisdom is her second name – she could have been included in Proverbs 31. If only the writer thereof knew about Heather, she would have been example number one.

  3. Mom – glad the commenting is working again. Miss my #1 fan’s insights!

  4. Estelle – I am enjoying a little of Heather’s wisdom every day as I read her poetry collection. That gentle, quiet spirit comes through there too.

  5. Thank you, Joan for sharing your deep and honest and oh so encouraging thoughts – you, too are inspirational – bless you!

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