Couple of days ago I was reading the story of Martha and Mary to Abigail from her children’s bible. It was an illustrated bible with pictures on it. I pointed to Martha and told Abi that she was working in the kitchen and tired. Martha’s appearance spoke loud about how frustrated she probably was more than her physical tiredness. I imagine, she was bustling through the kitchen trying to cook and clean and going extra mile to make sure she was checking off one after the other from her list.
While bustling in and out, she must occasionally have glanced at Mary and wondered how Mary could leave her behind to do all this by herself. Her eyes got a glimpse of Mary savoring the stories and the parables from the Masters lips. Martha looked at herself. There she was sweating and trying to beat time getting things done. she must have been frustrated and probably a little agitated in her spirit too.
Yet, Mary was so quietly composed, peacefully settled at the Masters feet. Now, Martha must have felt a little envious too. She wished she could join the gang, but then she remembered her “list”.
This has played over and over in my household too. I have played the “poor me” scenario in my home countless number of times as I get caught up in “list and chores” that needed to be done. Those times, I would be agitated in my spirit and I lose all my perspective. All I think at that time is “don’t you care?” and it is hurled at whoever is around me.
I like how the Master responded when Martha hurled accusation at him, “Lord, don’t you care?”
He gently responded,”Martha, Martha you seem to be worried about a lot of things, only one thing matters.”
I can imagine it coming from the sweet Saviour’s lips. So gentle and not provoked at all by Martha’s accusation. All Jesus wanted to do was to bring peace to her and not condemn her. “Only one thing matters”. That must have calmed the many storms in Martha’s spirit. Put to rest the doubts and questions of her own inability to complete the task. It must have restored her perspective back. She certainly was puzzled and out of perspective. All that mattered to her was her list of things that needed to be done. Martha, only one thing matters“ That must have echoed in her heart over and over again.
I know, it did in my heart. Through out that day it echoed in my heart. When I was worried about whether I was doing it right, when I was questioning my abilities and what I ‘ve been doing, Masters voice echoed in my heart, “Only one thing matters, Mary has chosen the good portion and it will not be taken away from her”.
(Paraphrase and italics added, Luke 10:38-42)