Interruptions and Alterations

I usually misquote Henri Nouwen’s and say, “My interruptions are my work,” when someone asks me my favorite quote. Here’s the real quote in context:

A few years ago I met an old professor at the University of Notre Dame, Looking back on his long life of teaching, he said with a funny wrinkle in his eyes: “I have always been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted, until I slowly discovered that my interruptions were my work.”

That is the great conversion in our life: to recognize and believe that the many unexpected events are not just disturbing interruptions of our projects, but the way in which God molds our hearts and prepares us for his return.

~ from Out of Solitude by Henri J. Nouwen

But having recently reread Shakespeare’s Sonnet #116, I’ve been pondering this line:

… Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds

My father so faithfully loved my mother through her dementia.

From dating days

To when she could no longer brush her own hair.

Love did not alter when it alterations found.

My father set the bar high.


2 thoughts on “Interruptions and Alterations

  1. Oh Sally …. those pictures define love. It might be too hard for you to bear but your piece brings to mind a wonderful French language film called ‘Amour’ which I highly recommend. Mostly though I highly recommend love which alters not when it alterations finds. I hope if presented by such challenge that I am big enough, good enough, brave enough and filled with the truest love to rise to the highest of bars. Your father is a wonderful man. I am proud to ‘know’ him through you whom I am proud to ‘know’.

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