Here is what Jesus knew, what I am discovering, and what we all need to learn: You cannot schedule love. The difference between Jesus’ perspective toward interruptions and ours is that we view interruptions as inconveniences; Jesus viewed interruptions as divine appointments to love.
When faced with disruptions to our plans and schedule, we might protest, “But I have lots of really important things to do.” And Jesus would say, “So did I.” We might insist, “But a lot of people depend on me.” And Jesus would say, “Me, too.” We might claim, “Modern life is overwhelming. I’m too busy to deal with interruptions.” And Jesus would say, “If you’re too busy to love people, you might want to rethink your commitments.” Any excuse we come up with to ignore interruptions, Jesus could have topped them. Yet over and over, Jesus embraced interruptions when they involved people, because Jesus loves people and never missed an opportunity to show it.
We could look at numerous examples of times when Jesus demonstrated love amid messy circumstances. He touched lepers, laid hands on dead people, reached out to beggars, hung around prostitutes, dealt with demon-possessed individuals, let kids climb on Him, went without food, and got soaking wet. Messy love will at times mean discomfort, other times it will be mean an upended schedule, and certainly at times it will be a matter of blood, sweat, and tears. Figuratively and sometimes literally.
To join the fray of loving like Jesus loved requires a radical shift of heart and mind, and a practical shift in expectations and plans. Any hope of remaining safe, predictable, and clean must be traded for the expectation of uncertainty, instability, and perhaps danger. The path of love we are called to walk is not a broad road with clear markings devoid of any potholes or pitfalls; it is a narrow road, a road splattered with mud and sometimes blood. I know it sounds a bit messy, love always is.