Interruptions on the Way
I’m traveling by train from Lisbon to Castelo Branco, on the way to spend a night at Barbara’s land. We’re stopped. The Portuguese lady on the recording calls it a brief “interruption on the way.” But the other passengers say there is a fire up ahead, somewhere near the tracks.
Catherine is with me, and we laughed that just a few moments ago I’d quipped: “Those dark rain clouds don’t sound good for us in the land.” Turns out those rain clouds were actually made of smoke. It is dry in Portugal, and brush fires are common.
It is nice to have a traveling companion for this part of my journey. I met Catherine about four years ago at St. Dominic’s International School. She was in year ten and I was in year one of my Young Life internship. I met her at lunch-break, and we chatted about life and books. I remember thinking that she was one of the brightest thirteen year-olds I’d ever met. We continued to meet up for lunches over the years, and kept the conversation going. We spoke a lot about Jesus. I prayed for her and asked many friends to do the same, because I so wanted her to know how much God loves her.
Today Catherine sits next to me knowing that Love personally. Somewhere along the way–was it in a 24-7 prayer room, or as she was walking along the Atlantic?–Catherine committed her life to following Jesus. Now she’s two train seats away from me reading and journaling Madeleine L’Engle.
When we settled into the train she’d grabbed a book from my tiny portable library a’la red Samsonite carry-on. I’ve been grinning to myself as I watch her scribble old M’s words into her Portuguese/English journal.
“What good words did you find, Cat?”
“Oh! It’s this great bit about how when we’re too self-absorbed and analytical, we’re not really able to live.”
It is a joy to see others losing themselves in the same words that have held me. With Catherine, I’m reminded how simply-chewed words over lunch can be a part of the relentless in breaking of God’s love in another’s life.
May we keep that conversation going.