All Mary wants to do is sit at His feet, but her sister Martha keeps peeking from out of the kitchen and giving her “you should be helping me,” looks. Part of her considers getting up from listening to the Rabbi and helping her sister prepare the food for their guests. However, another part doesn’t question her decision to sit at His feet and listen to him. The teacher captivates everyone he comes across, he is very clever, and his ability to communicate and help his students understand the Torah is short of astounding. There are also those that whisper of the coming Messiah, and that He might be ‘it.’
Mary has never felt such peace in anyone’s presence, and this peace has been increasing into every corner of her life, whenever she could sneak a chance of seeing him and hearing his voice. She is excited because this is the first time He has been to her home.
Now as they went on their way, he entered a village; and a woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving and she went to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to then help me.” ‘But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled with many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-41
The first two paragraphs are something I have imagined; I know a thing or two about sibling dynamics. For the last few months, the Lord has been using this gospel story to remind me to stay quiet, but I am discovering that it’s not in the way I would presume. Nothing is in the way I would suppose when it comes down to the Lord. I’ve been frustrated that He wants me to be quiet, and to take a similar position as Mary, which is a good portion. I’m being a bit hypocritical, as my last post extolled the benefits of silence, but getting there is a difficult path.
Lately, I have been wondering and pondering on what Mary could be thinking about, and how did she feel to have Jesus defend her position to her sister? I have been trying to look at this Gospel passage from a Lectio Divina advantage, except for reasons the Lord hasn’t shared with me, I am unable to do a Lectio. All I can do is read, but I have learned there are ways around this! I have taken a bit of the particular gospel in mind and kept turning [it] around visually in my head – it eventually works for me.
First, I began with what exactly about the good portion Jesus meant. For all of us who don’t particularly care for hospitality and serving those who come to your house. Jesus probably didn’t call beforehand to let Martha know that he was coming. Martha is sweating the good sweat just trying to get everything in place for her guests. But this isn’t what Jesus has asked of Martha, so I understand why he somewhat rebukes her complaint of Mary not helping. Martha expected her sister to help her, not sit down and listen to Jesus. Not having to help would be the good portion for many of us.
I have been thinking about what my good portion is, and I don’t expect it to be the same as it was for Mary, and while on the surface it was listening, I don’t think it was. Unfortunately, we’ll never know what exactly because there are always layers to whatever God is doing, simply because we’re layered people.
Since last October, I have been dealing with the heavy load of unresolved anger, and most of it was directed at the Lord. I kept asking Him why. He hasn’t been very talkative to be honest, and this has furthered my frustrations with Him.
Most of my life I pretended that I didn’t have anger, or I handled it pretty well, but that is one of the reasons I think I have struggled with depression so much. Last week, the Lord showed me what was beneath my anger, and it was the obnoxious face of control. It was completely out of the blue that he revealed this to me. The anger began to make sense to me. It has opened a path of seeing that I didn’t want to admit to beforehand.
My good portion is to remain silent, and it’s in this position that Jesus longs to give himself to Mary, and to me. Trying to remain busy is not the greatest way of not dealing with stuff that needs His light. He wants me to stop resisting His goodness, and to desire Him. He wants me to be a part of His body, and He desires for me to be able to receive him. It’s not easy for me to receive His body as he would have me, but it’s taking the control, anger, selfishness, and greed and being honest about Who He is, and who I am in relation in His identity. You become one.