Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Gift of Interruption

by Sally Chambers
Jesus often stopped inthe midst of what he was doing when parents interrupted his teaching to tuck their baby into his arms or place their little ones on his lap. He never rebuked a mother or father or refused to bless a child. He never rebuked his disciples, who misunderstood for a moment the importance of that interruption. Those parents wanted their children to experience the blessing, touch, and attention of this great man, whom they believed to be the Messiah, and those children were blessed indeed.

My mother used to tell of a time when her father interrupted her at her desk as she studied late one night.

He placed a gentle hand on her shoulder and told her "There are sometimes things more important than homework."

And so, she left her studies behind. Her daddy led her outside, and together they entered the dark night, walking into the midst of wonder. Hand-in-hand, the two of them stood and watched the beauty of the shimmering lights in the northern sky.

That's the way my mother told the story of when she was a little girl--of living on Cape Cod--of how her father interrupted her homework one evening, to show her something she must see.

Was that the reason that when I was as deep into dreams as a six-year-old could be, my daddy woke me? "Wake up, Sally, there's something I want you to see."
His soft, whispered words pushed sleep away. And in the dim light, he smiled at me, wrapped my blanket around me, scooped me up into his arms, and carried me out into the night. My daddy interrupted my sleep because he wanted me to see something special--to experience something more important than sleep.

Outside, beneath the cool desert skies of Washington State, he held me and pointed to the lights of the north. Filled with awe, I watched the gracefully undulating, color-filled, shimmering phenomenon that my father explained was the aurora borealis. Even the name was magical to me. I've never forgotten the wonder I felt that night.

Children have a depthless capacity for wonder. Filling that capacity is both a joy and a great responsibility for those who care for them. Interrupting sleep or homework, play or a chore to behold one of God's works is a beautiful and unforgettable gift for any child.

Since that long-ago time, just as I showed them to her, my daughter has seen and pointed out wonders to her own children.

Now, it's my granddaughter's turn to show her daughter those wonders. And so, the gift of teaching a capacity for the wonder of God's creation passes down the steps of time. And yet another generation learns the value of interruptions.
Wha wonders have you shown your little ones? Was it the birth of a new foal? A meteor shower? An eclipse of the moon?

We serve an awesome God!

My daughter, Deborah Sandidge, took the last two photographs in this post. Enjoy more of Deb's work at her website


  1. Sally, what a beautiful tradition established on a cherished memory. Thank you for leading me in memories of my own grandparents. Blessings.

  2. Beautiful, Sally. Thank you for sharing. You gave "interruption" a new meaning.

  3. Okay, that kinda brought tears, Sally. Good tears. This is simply beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Pat, Sue, Peggy, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and comments! Our Lord Jesus began a priceless tradition when He opened his arms to children.

  5. This is my first visit. I will be back. Thanks for reminding me that interruptions can be good. I do get impatient at times. Clella

  6. Welcome, Clella. Thanks for visiting and commenting. And, I just noticed, for becoming a Making Home Work follower. We look forward to seeing you again!