The Interruption

“Excuse me?” said the little girl, politely. Another visitor was already asking me a question at the penguin keeper chat so I held up my hand to ask her to wait a moment. “Excuse me?” she said again, louder. When I didn’t turn to face her, she inflated her lungs and screamed, “EXCUSE ME!” Finally I realized that this girl believed that saying ‘excuse me’ meant she could cut into any conversation at any time. I smiled apologetically at the man who was trying to ask me a question and turned to the little girl. Before she could open her mouth to speak, I said, “I’m sorry, but this man was already asking a question. After I answer his question, I will come and answer your question.” She gave me a bit of a puzzled look but stayed silent. I did answer her question next and though I don’t remember what it was, I will never forget her top-of-the-voice scream.

My mom has joked that I’m one of the most interrupted people in the world. I have even been in a conversation with someone, sitting eye to eye, and had them turn away from me in mid-sentence to start a totally new conversation with the person sitting on their other side. Now, I fully acknowledge that I do tend to tell rambling, overly detailed stories, so I can’t blame people for tuning out at times. I am working on it. But having people run over me in conversations can get a bit disheartening.

The other day while eating lunch with some coworkers, it got particularly bad. We were all having a lively discussion, with everyone contributing. Twice I got halfway through a sentence, only to have someone from the other side of the room start more loudly. Everyone’s eyes moved toward the louder speaker and I was left talking to the air. It felt like their words came over and sat on me, making me invisible. I wasn’t saying anything really important and the point I was trying to make ended up being made by someone else, but I felt a bit like I was standing outside, listening to my friends.

After lunch, I went to the penguin den and started my cleaning routine. This can be a great place to think, being “behind the scenes”, out of public view. On that day, being able to think was a bad thing. I just kept going over the way I had been steamrollered and how insignificant it made me feel. “I’m just tired of being the world’s most interrupted person!” I said to the penguins around my feet. They ignored me, too. Then, I felt it. A spiritual nudge, like an arm wrapping around the shoulders of my soul. It seemed to say, “I never interrupt you. I listen to every word you say, every word you think, and every one you just feel.” Thankfully, the penguin den is a good place to cry, too. Tears welled up, and all I could do was lean on my scrub brush and say “Thank You, God.”

Psalms 66:16-20 “Come and listen, all who fear God, and I will tell what He has done for me. I cried out to Him with my mouth and praise was on my tongue. If I had been aware of malice in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. However, God has listened; He has paid attention to the sound of my prayer. May God be praised! He has not turned away my prayer or turned His faithful love from me.”

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2 thoughts on “The Interruption

  1. As Erin’s mom I have witnessed this happen to her more than once, and I am sure I have even been guilty of talking over her myself. Her quiet and gentle manner seems to lend itself to this kind of inconsiderate action. Thinking of this reminds me that in I Kings 19, God spoke in a still small voice. How often have I been guilty of raising my voice and interrupting what the Lord wishes to speak to me.

    • What a great verse for that. While I can’t say I actually heard an audible voice from God that day, it certainly was the closest thing to a still small voice.
      Thanks, Mom 😀

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