Mary and Martha

This next piece will be all too familiar to anyone who is a parent.


Mary and Martha

O God,
I am preoccupied,
and just plain busy.
I am a wife, a mother,
a teacher, a homemaker,
a sister, a daughter,
a friend, a neighbor.
I am the center of a family.
It is a blessed calling,
and one for which I am very grateful,
but it is a lot.
A whole lot.
A lot of doing, a lot of going,
a lot of planning, a lot of deciding.
A lot of work.

But, O God,
I hear your quiet voice.
I feel your gentle tug,
catch your whispered call,
sense your patient waiting.

The Martha in me
meets herself coming and going,
kicks stuff out of the way
to get to the next thing,
fantasizes about takeout meals
and household help,
breathes deep as she starts the car,
and reminds herself to smile
at the children reflected in the rear view mirror.

The Mary in me –
oh, the Mary in me –
that girl does not care.
She flat does not care about this house,
or that obligation,
or those prior commitments.
The Mary in me – she sees Jesus,
drops everything,
runs to him,
skids to a stop at his feet,
plops onto the floor,
and gazes up into his face.

The Mary in me,
she’s going to run this place into the ground —
but oh, the Lord is here,
and she must be with him.
There will be plenty of time for work.
She will figure out a way.
But the Lord is here,
he is speaking;
now is the time to listen.

The Mary in me,
she is not lazy.
She is just stopped in her tracks by love.

The Martha in me,
she is not unkind.
She just has her hands full.

get up quietly;
skirt around the group of listeners.
Go to your sister,
take her by the hand,
smile at her,
bring her into the circle.
She needs, as much as everyone else,
to hear the words of the Lord.

During the pauses,
you can both go back to the kitchen,
help each other,
and get the work done quickly.
But don’t miss out
on the precious, life-giving time
with the Lord.
He is the bread of life,
he is living water.

Taste and see, dear Martha;
feast and be filled.


Amen.  May God bless all who undertake this most important of callings, and may God gently lead those with young.

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