Crawford community at the kitchen island baking, laughing, caring and finding Jesus in our midst.

This week a friend said, “I’m a Mary surrounded by Marthas. And it feels kinda crappy.”

In the last umpteen weeks of sheltering in place and homeschooling, one would think that there would be all the time in the world to slow down but really they have just been layered on — more work, more demands, more busyness without the luxury of space to attend to it all.  For me, this time has upped by Martha-ness but in my soul I wish I could be more like Mary.

Do you remember the story of Mary and Martha?  In the Gospel of Luke, after Jesus shared the story of the Good Samaritan, he goes to the home of Mary and Martha where Mary sits at Jesus’ feet listening to him, and Martha works like mad in the kitchen to get things prepared for their guests.  Martha resents her sister for not working with her; Mary doesn’t care. She knows this is an opportunity that she may not have again. After Martha tells Jesus to make Mary help her in the kitchen, Jesus, in his gentle way, reminds Martha, “One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her” (Luke 10:38-42).

What about you?  Do you identify more with Mary or with Martha?  Do you ever feel drawn to be the other?  Do you ever feel called to sit and listen for God in the midst of all the tasks, all the chores that need to be done?  John Wesley, the founder of our denomination, taught us that prayer should lead to action and action should lead us back to prayer; that we should not act without praying nor should we pray without acting.  These two, prayer and action, are interconnected, interdependent.  Or in other words, Martha needs Mary and Mary needs Martha; they too are interconnected, interdependent.

As my friend and I continued our Mary and Martha conversation, another friend chimed in and said, “In my image of the story all three (Mary, Martha and Jesus) have moved to the kitchen island and are chopping carrots and listening and laughing together, even Jesus who is also juggling a baby on his lap.” She went on, “Don’t let anyone make you feel less than you. You bring to the kitchen island exactly what God designed you to bring—all of your beauty and wonder, compassion and passion. The time for shaming and dividing is done.”

Today I hear God in these very simple, very wise, and very direct words.  We all bring to the kitchen island exactly what God designed each of us to bring. It is not the same but it is all needed. Especially in this day and time when nothing is normal, with all that demands our time and our attention, let’s  make a commitment to be who we are (not who others want us to be or demand us to be) and notice Jesus with us listening, laughing, chopping carrots, juggling the baby, and loving us as we are.

See you for worship,