In her last post, Lori called on all of us to seek God outside of hatred and those who harm others in His name.  She reminded us that God is with the helpers.

When someone mentions helpers, I tend to think of Martha and it’s easy to imagine Martha passing around blankets and water, making space in her home for those whose family members are in the hospital and seeing that everyone is fed.

I understand Martha which is probably why I’ve always resented the story of Martha and Mary.  Yes, I know most people say Mary and Martha but I identify with Martha. It’s always bothered me when a minister or priest preaches a sermon about how Christ called Martha on her busyness and told her to be more like her sister.

Then I read Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. I discovered that when a Martha like myself reads this book, she tends to start it with an attitude.  “There we go. Holding Mary up again and putting Martha down. I bet Weaver would still accept a meal that ol’ Martha made.”

Yep, that was me.  Attitude.  A lot like Martha.

But as I read the book, I made a discovery. Weaver calls on us to be both Martha and Mary. Mary without Martha is all meditation and no action. While it’s great to sit at Christ’s feet, there are people in this hurting world of ours who need to feel His presence.

There are people who were injured in that bomb blast who face physical uncertainty and big scary bills. Insurance companies balk at the expense of top notch prosthetics.  They sometimes question that people will need them long term. “How long are you going to need the prosthetic hands?” Yes, insurance companies have actually asked people that.  These people need a Martha or maybe even a dozen Martha’s.

But, for her own wellbeing, Martha needs to be a little like Mary too. Without God at the center of her actions, Martha comes to resent all the thankless labor. It feels pointless and becomes burdensome busy work. As Weaver helped me see, Christ understood Martha.  He wanted her to find balance and later scriptures show that she did as did Mary.

What would God have Martha do to help in the world today?  What words would Mary hear from Christ? I can’t tell you what their specific task would be but I think we all know that it would be a labor done bearing a message of Love.