By: Gabriela Yareliz
My mind has still be stirring with thoughts on service (that and the Johnny Depp trial). I have been enjoying the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver.
It’s a story that is often told or talked about, especially in regards to women. I feel like most of us cringe a little when we read that verse where Martha tells Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?” (Luke 10:40)
And we often think of this story in cliché terms, and make it seem like Jesus was rebuking Martha for serving when He tells her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one this is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42) We read that and we are left with a question mark— or wondering who in the world was supposed to feed all the guests in that house if not Martha. We make it seem like Mary (who was sitting at Jesus’ feet and not serving with her sister) was the good one, and Martha was just the bad, stressed out one.
When I read this passage this time, it just sort of hit me differently, and it didn’t really have anything to do with the book I am reading but solely with the Scripture. (I just happened to be rereading the Scripture because of the book’s theme). What hit me was that the issue was never Martha’s service. Martha was giving her gift of service. Someone needed to feed all those guests and take care of everyone. That is a fact. You can’t just manifest food. Everyone in that room needed Martha.
The one thing Martha was missing was simply standing still in the presence of God. That was the one thing Mary got right. Turns out we need to be a combination of both. Mary should have been helping her sister. It would have lightened the load. But Martha wouldn’t have been as anxious and resentful had she too spent some time in Jesus’ presence.
This simply made me think about how we serve. How we often think the solution is not to serve or that something is wrong with the service itself or who we are serving, when we are failing to realize that we are missing an important thing: standing still in His presence. Being with Him changes our mindset, attitude and disposition. If we are serving and feeling no peace, then we need more time with Him.
Someone needs to feed the guests and take care of people. This is a gift we are called to. But let’s not forget the “one thing” that is necessary— the good portion. If we take the best from Martha and Mary, we are golden. Make sure you sit at His feet today. Lean in. Worship. Then, go feed the world.