I receive a desperate email from one of my best students. He’s applying to this great new program, but the deadline’s been changed to tomorrow. He has no choice but to beg his professors to write last minute recommendations.
It’s a ridiculous inconvenience. It’s exam week here. I’m grading papers, posting grades, and barely keeping my head above the water. Not only is the recommendation due now, but I have to stop everything, drive across town to my office to pick up the appropriate letterhead, write the narrative, and then arrange to meet the student to drop off the forms.
What makes this one student’s life so precious, so important, that I would bother to do what I do not have time for?
I bundle up in my coat and scarf, pull on my gloves and boots, and brave the ice. As I drive, it’s as if God has a message for me about the beauty of the ridiculously inconvenient. God, after all, takes on the inconvenience of flesh, and if I think about it, Christmas is actually a celebration of radical inconvenience.
A student needing a recommendation seems a small thing, really.
I know, I know. I’ve also memorized the quote: Your lack of planning doesn’t constitute an emergency on my part.
But what if it did? What if I embraced being ridiculously inconvenienced for once in my life and made your particular need my current emergency?
I’m smiling as a race into the English department. It’s because the student is precious–profoundly so–and why wouldn’t I go to extraordinary lengths to help him move forward in the direction of his dreams? What makes my time more valuable than his?
Years ago, I was that flustered student trying to meet deadlines, knocking sheepishly on my professors’ doors. How many folks did I inconvenience on my journey? How many emergencies did I bring into the laps of folks I needed to help me?
Living with flair means I learn to embrace inconvenience. The inconvenient things often usher in the magnificent, the life-changing, and the divine. I felt myself transforming into the type of woman I want to be as I drove back home. I did a ridiculously inconvenient thing for someone, and I knew it was full of flair.
“Embracing inconvenience” – what a lovely way to describe compassion! Wonderfully written – you have lifted my day as well as your student's and your own.
This is one of my favorite posts. All of your students — not just this one — are fortunate to have you, Heather.
Thank you both! Enjoy your Monday!
Last week, I thought “why don't people just leave me alone?” It then came to me – “Excuse you? You are HERE for people and for dogs! You need to respond!” Though I consider myself a spiritual hermit, in my daily life I need the connection of humans….even should they inconvenience my planned day – my plans are not always God's plans – HA. wonderful post and exemplary flair.
People are such interruptions all the time. But people are why Jesus came–and sends us. So interruptions really are what it is all about–embracing them, embracing that inconvenience. Nice, Heather.