For some reason the story of Mary and Martha keeps showing up in my life lately. First I heard a brief thing on the radio, then it showed up in a book I was reading (Max Lucado's "Cast of Charecters". Then it was the theme of the retreat I went to. Not only that, but the retreat center we were at was also hosting a "walk to Emmaus" and so of course this reminded me of when I went on a walk and I was at the table of Martha. This last weekend I was paired with two women for a small group session. Both are beautiful women, inside and out and both have been blessed with incredible musical gifts. I think they are both Mary's. When they sing, they truly worship, they positively glow when they sing praises to the Lord.
Max talks about how every church needs some of each.
I think he is right, in the church you can find Martha's in the kitchen cooking or cleaning, in the nursery rocking babies, teaching Sunday school, and doing all the little things that people take for granted. When you see the santuary decorated for a holiday, it's likely a Martha was involved.
In my life I have had Martha's. I think a gift got left out in the Bible, the gift of the Cassarole. Some women have this gift (not me!) I have been blessed by it. After surgery it was so nice to see someone bring me a meal so I didn't have to cook, after a baby or an adoption it left me more time with my new child. When my daughter was a baby and had surgery, I didn't want to leave her side, but my pastor's wife brought me a basket with fruit and granola bars and other healthy snacks that kept me going as I stayed by my babies side. Those cassarole women are Martha's. They feed the soul by feeding the body. I have seen Jesus through thier actions.
I have also been blessed by the Mary's in my life. On Sunday look around and you will see these people, they worship with thier entire being. Don't worry about looking around, they won't notice they are consumed with worship, like the two ladies I was with this weekend, they glow when they worship. I have been so blessed by these kinds of people. They are the ones you want to pray for you when things are tough, they won't question you, but if they say they will pray, they will. They will not forget and they will pray hard. Mary's write and sing and pray in ways that inspire others and bring us closer to God. They are also the ones you want to talk to when you have a problem, they will listen and give you Godly advice but won't try to fix it as a Martha is lible to do (maybe with a cassarole!)
It is sad when differences in people cause differences in God's family. God made us all different and gave us all different tasks. One thing that our speaker at our retreat did was she gave us all cups, they were in a basket and all wrapped in napkins or bags so we could not see what we were choosing. All were different. In them we put little pieces of paper representing our lives, the good, the bad and the nuetral. We were told that God gave us our Cup and our Portion. No two were the same, nor were the contents the same. There is so much work to be done here so God gives everyone different jobs to do. We need to respect each other and each other's callings. I happen to beleive that God called us to adopt, but not everyone is called to do that. I have a friend who felt God wanted her to wear a head covering. It had to do with her own vanity and soemthing God was teaching her. She took a lot of flack for that, even though she never said anyone else should do it. I have seen people fight over homeschooling, end times theology, when and how to baptize, how to parent, what time to have church, what age to start youth group and other stuff. I remember one time seeing a cartoon. You could see a group of people who had been wearing church clothes and sitting around a table, but thier clothing was torn, some had black eyes, furniture had been upturned. There had obviously been a fight. The words underneath said. "It's settled then, we will paint the Sunday School room blue." Christ came to unite Us. He asked us to Love each other, not judge each other. I guess this problem won't be going away soon, half of Paul's letters deal with settling petty arguments in the early church. I am going to pray that I will do my part to do better to get along with others. Whether a person is a Mary or a Marth or whatever, we are all sisters (and brother's) in Christ.