Mary, Martha, and Me

James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

Hmmmmmmmm—I sit quietly and listen to the whirl of the fan and sip my coffee. The nonstop running phase has begun again and I take a moment to be silent and spend time with Heavenly Dad.

It’s like He has a chair pulled out at the table, my coffee is hot with swirling steam, as He waits for me to join Him. I keep running past saying, “I’m almost done, I’m almost done, I’m almost done…” but almost keeps dragging on. My time with Him is there waiting. I see it, feel it, almost smell it, but the urgent keeps getting in my way, along with very reasonable excuses. He never gets angry as He patiently waits. Finally, I pause to sit at the table with Him, take a breath, close my eyes, and listen.

Have you ever noticed the varying pitches of vans: some low and some high? I breath in the stillness. We begin.

As Eric and I journey down this path together, we frequently check the Guide Book for direction. The Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (BIBLE, for short) has come into play innumerable times with how we should treat each other in love. That phrase has been a gray area for us. We often feel like we are being loving but are learning that true love means loving others the way THEY NEED to be loved. My personal definition of love might be different from his or others. Love is finding/seeing the differences and meeting people where they are.

Heavenly Dad has been showing me a another of my gray areas of love: in my reaction to others. I now recognize my lack of love when those around me are NOT being loving, sometimes being just plain ugly towards me (ugh-my struggle). My first reaction is often out of hurt, self-preservation, or saving face if it happens in front of a group of people.

On this journey I’m wrapping my mind around the love that puts other people’s needs in front of or above my own. That means when a person is “stabbing me in the back” in front of others, not reacting, even if I have every right to. My rights should not be as important as my compassion for them. They would never act that way if they truly knew who they were created to be. I should feel sorry for them, not myself, as I battle my instinct to, “Love myself and stand up for my rights.”

Luke 10:

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 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!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet, similar to me sitting at His table=spending time with Him. I’m learning not only from Him but about Him and how to treat others. If I took the story of Mary and Martha alone I would think I should never venture out into the world. It appears as though Jesus was recognizing Mary and almost chastising Martha. But that’s only one story in the Guidebook.

Hebrews 13

2 “Do not forget to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

16 “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

I can’t entertain strangers, do good, or share with others if I stay in my room or at the table with Heavenly Dad. The time I’m spending as Mary, at His feet, challenges me to be Martha to serve and love others. I need Mary-time to become a Martha-with-the-right-intentions.

James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

I’m here for a purpose: people=YOU!!! I sit at Heavenly Dad’s feet, aka table, to learn how to love and treat you.

Please tell me, how do you need to be loved and what can I do for you? I may not have all the answers but I know the One who does.

Until next time: blessings!

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