Fr. Gregory Boyle offered a wonderful short story.
In his cramped LA office, rushing to prepare for a noon baptism, a heroin addict stumbled in asking to meet. As Mother Theresa would say, ‘God in God’s most distressing disguises.’
Initially annoyed, initially rushing towards the logical “I don’t have time for this”, Fr. Boyle settled, opened his heart to hear her, and offered this line about that experience.
“I had almost forgotten. People are not interruptions.”
It is easy to forget people.
We live in world readily consumed with algorithms, busyness masquerading as effectiveness, thinness as connection. Ministry is no different. The pressing demands of running a church easily trump the more important work of being the church. In other words, it is easy to forget and far easier to forget those broken. Easier to forget those who are already largely forgotten.
That is why Mary is one of my heroes. She reminds me every few weeks, “What date works to got to Kensington?”, a place where we pass out lunches and visit with the homeless and addicted.
Even in winter. Even in snow.
People are not interruptions.