She showed up to Bible study fashionably late, as they say, and made everyone aware of her presence. She seemed to know a little of what we were talking about. When I say “a little,” I mean she had her own version of the passage we were studying. I’m sure every time she spoke up, I cocked my head sideways in disbelief of the tangents she frequently took us on. She has a knack for hijacking conversations, interrupting discussions, and derailing dialog.
Truth be told, she seems to have her own version of life itself. She doesn’t live in the real world. She lives in her own fantasy world. Her world appears to be formulated by reality TV shows, sad songs, adventure movies, and bad theology. I can honestly say I’ve never met anyone quite like her.
When the gospel singers were performing a couple weeks ago, she came in late of course, sat down and commented out loud in affirmation of their music. When the song ended, she piped up and asked, “Can you sing the song about Elvis?”
Confused, they questioned, “The song about Elvis?” (I think everyone in the room was confused.)
“Yes,” she said, “you know…the one about Elvis?”
I was just about to interject and remind her this was a gospel group and they wouldn’t be singing any songs by Elvis.
Then she said, “Everyone knows the song about Elvis. Don’t you? It’s How Great Thou Art!”
Oh my! She’s an Elvis fanatic times ten. I sat in the back of the room, again, floored by the random, and way off thinking of that beautiful old hymn being about Elvis. The gospel group obliged and sang the song. Which is quite clearly about God. Not Elvis. And she sobbed through the whole thing. I wondered what in the world must be going through her mind.
I haven’t known how to navigate between my teetering thoughts of “This woman drives me absolutely crazy” and “Jesus would have loved her, invested in her, and spent time with her.” It hasn’t been the first time I’ve wrestled with professional responses vs. spiritual responses. It happens. I’ve questioned by responsibility, my role, and my obligation.
Interruptions…they’re interesting for sure. We can easily get frustrated by them, blow them off, or even ponder their root. One thing I know, interruptions happen. And you never know when or where.
Last week the nursing staff found her. She was half-dressed, in the room of a man who was not her current boyfriend. She was unresponsive. She was rushed to the hospital where she passed away a few days later. It’s crazy to fathom. I saw her that day. She interrupted me a few times that day. She seemed fine. Until she wasn’t.
She was an interrupter for sure. When I thought I could get some work done, here she came to interrupt. When I was having a discussion with a staff member or resident, here she came to interrupt. When I was about to leave for the day, here she came to interrupt.
I guess in the end, her very life was interrupted. It’s sorta ironic.
At least for a while, I’ll look at interruptions differently. There could very well be something divine about them.