Prayer should interrupt our lives. This is something you learn when you travel in other lands. In the middle-east, the call to prayer wails from a minaret and suddenly people stop what they are doing and pray. In Asia, the crowds part and you see orange robbed young men with their begging bowls. Life can be interrupted by the search for enlightenment. These men have taken a hiatus from their career path to pray. There is something universal about Psalm 130’s, “Out of the depths I cry to You… be attentive to my supplications.” Unfortunately, we have segregated our prayer to an hour on Sunday and a building. I want a religion that meets me on the street.
Psalm 130 is a very personal litany of prayers; each line the breath of the human soul. This forms a one-two punch when matched with Mark 5:24, where a woman interrupts Jesus — when he is on the street and very busy — with her supplication. Out of the depths, I cry to you — the creator and interrupter of my existence.
This is a good time to remind people that when illness interrupts our daily lives, there may be positive spiritual benefits. The story of the woman with the unstoppable hemorrhage moves us to compassion. How terrible. Yet it contains that precious line about her touching the hem of Jesus’ robe — knowing him to be the divine in our midst — and being recognized. When has God saying, I know you, interrupted our lives?
Young people need to be given permission to interrupt their career paths and schooling in order to pursue mission work and spiritual adventures. Life doesn’t need to be lived according to plan.