Pondering the reading for Sunday about Mary and Martha. In many ways it strikes me as similar to the story of the prodigal son. There are times I am Mary, times I am Martha, and times I’m Jesus (not in the sense of being a deity, but rather in the sense of comforting the fretter). Perhaps the point has something to do with balance. For in spite of his words, I think there are times Jesus calls us from worship and adoration to be his hands and feet in the world. There are times we are called to care for those around us in big ways, yet mostly it is in small ways. There are times we are to sit at the feet of Jesus and just be with him. And there are times we are to remind those around us of those things that are important.
Now that I say that out loud, it seems presumptuous. How can I, this mixed up, messed up, mistaken woman ever figure out what is right? It is much easier to stay busy, fretting over what needs to be done next. Worrying about what happens next hour, next day, next week, next month, and yes even in the next life. To have a task to complete, that is easy, tangible, measurable.
To worship Jesus can be frightening, consuming, and difficult to control. In that vulnerably naked time in front of him, he just might call me into something else. Something deeper, something unknown, something so far out of my comfort zone that I want to run and hide again.
Or worse, in that naked time, I just might feel his love radiating in and through me. How scary that thought is…that I might truly be loved unconditionally. Is that what Martha was afraid of too? That at the feet of Jesus she just might feel loved? How frightening then to have him in her home…I get that as I continue to run from him in my own life.
It is much easier to keep Jesus at arm’s distance. To stay busy, preoccupied with tasks, to keep moving, thinking he cannot catch up. If I keep my elbows locked, he can’t catch me, can he?