I was reading a very familiar story yesterday-Mary and Martha.
For the first time, I saw something that hadn’t occurred to me before.
I could imagine Jesus sitting in the lounge with Mary hanging on his every word, action or revelation. She was living in the moment and Jesus thought it was exactly where we need to be too.
Then my eyes turned to Martha…at first glance…hospitable, caring and wanting to serve her Lord. (All of these things could still be true.)
but then this line Luke 10:40
“But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.
She came to him and asked “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the
work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
This is what went through my head about Martha…..she sees Mary sitting there without a care in the world.
Aggravated she continues collecting up items for the meal, banging her pots around.
No one is noticing all her hard work. Poor Martha. “Mary should know better, our parents brought us up better than that, where is her servant heart?
Well…I’ve always been a bit better than that…but why isn’t Jesus noticing how hard I’m having to work, as I pick up Mary’s slack.”
So she approaches him, sweaty, tired, frustrated and full of self pity.
“Lord, don’t you see me?
Lord, don’t you get how lazy Mary is being, and that it means I have to work double as hard.”
A more sinister Martha rose to the surface to me in that moment, I could see passive aggressive tendencies, or at the very least a martyr type, drenched in self pity, speaking our of a complaining spirit, lack, comparing and judging…. and I could see elements of myself in some of that……I didn’t like it-not one little bit.
How many times have I felt those same things?
Doesn’t anyone notice me?
Doesn’t Jesus care that I’m going through this stuff by myself?
Why do others get any easy time of it and I have to work so hard at just getting the basics done?
I wonder if you’ve ever felt this way too? I might be the only one. ?
I LOVE Jesus’ response to her….he doesn’t tell her what she was doing was wrong, or condemn her…..(I’m unsure I give myself this type of kindness or grace at times.)
Let me quote the Master “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
First He validates her, her work, her feelings and the fact that he had noticed and indeed seen her.
He doesn’t condemn her.
But instead – highlights and defends Mary, her actions, her motives, her heart….the better option.
He in that moment, gave Martha permission to let it all go and just sit before him and listen.
So today, I want to release a prayer over us all, those who have ever been a Martha type.
Thankyou that you see me. Thankyou for acknowledging my feelings and frustrations. But thankyou Lord for also seeing a best option for me. You sift out the extras, the life sappers and simply say to me….
“My precious child,
I see you scurrying about, looking here there and everywhere. I see all the busyness, the things you feel you have to do, to maintain order and control of your life circumstance.
I see all of this and feel your pain, frustration, isolation, sadness, anger (fill in the gap)
I see it all before me…….
but I have something better for you. ?
There is a time to organise and serve…there is equally a right time to sit at my feet, to rest…to just be-before me.
Today my daughter I give you permission to let it all go,
and I motion to you to come before me and be seated before me.
Drink in the peace of my presence.
Hear what I want to impart to you.
Come, be filled afresh.
You don’t need to worry that I’ll be leaving you, you can access this time together at any point throughout your day.
For I am with you, I will never leave you, not forsake you.
I know you my child, better than you know yourself.
Trust me with your today, your moment, let me release a breath of fresh air into your lungs.
As you release all the Martha distractions and simply be, before me.
It is time well invested.”