“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 (NIV)
Sometimes I have a little trouble with this story of the Bethany sisters. Martha was working so hard, preparing for Jesus and all his friends—thirteen hungry men! And Mary was just sitting there, never making a move to help. I have great sympathy for my friend Martha.
When she complained to Jesus, He was kind and understanding. “Martha, Martha,” He said, “ you are worried and upset about many things.” But then He added, to her amazement, “Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10:38-41 NIV).
How many times—especially close to dinner time, when the children are the most demanding, the laundry still needs to be put away, and someone delivered to Scouts or a piano lesson—have I longed to sneak away and sit peacefully at my Lord’s feet. (A soundproof room and a full-time maid would be good too.)
In the midst of a disordered house, I remember the quiet “Mary-type” joy of the hour with God early in the morning when there is time to spend in the Word and to share each beloved burden in prayer. But all the other must be done as well, and I’m the only maid I have.
Food doesn’t buy and prepare itself (even in a microwave), the children don’t play quietly or do homework without strong reminders, floors don’t come clean by themselves (though they seem to get dirty that way), and toys don’t jump into their storage areas except in movies.
Did you hear that, Lord? I’m beginning to sound like Martha again. You spoke to her about that complaining business. She was doing something for You, but she was griping. Lord, this family is Your gift to me, and the work here is blessed because of that. What if I can’t find time to sit at Your feet, as Mary did? Do I need to be so grumpy about it?
Thank You, Lord, that You understand my “Martha prayers”, uttered at the sink and stove, and in the car. How sweet to know that You are closer than the broom or dustbuster when I’m on my knees cleaning up
sticky crumbs and dog hair. AMEN