One of the passages of scripture that always frustrated me was Luke 10:38-42. Jesus is visiting the home of his dear friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Martha had the gift of hospitality and welcomed Jesus into her home. She did like most women do and started serving. I could just see her hurrying to pick up the house before she opens the door, fluffing the cushions on the coach, sweeping the floor, throwing things into the closet that no one will hopefully open. If she were like me with teenagers, she would have been barking orders for everyone in the house knowing that company was coming. Then, she would have to prepare snacks and a meal and offer everyone coffee or tea. And, as Martha is doing all of this, she is noticing that her sister Mary just sat right down with their guest and hadn’t offered to help her do anything. Of course, she was frustrated and thought she should help her and even told Jesus to tell Mary to come and help her. So why does this passage frustrate me? Because, Jesus told Martha that Mary was doing the right thing and that she was wrong. How does that even make sense? Who would fix the lunch? What would they eat? Who would make the coffee for goodness sakes!! I have struggled with being so much like Martha my whole life. And, because I have that Martha brain, I thought like her, that if Mary had just helped her get the lunch ready, she could sit down and visit with everyone, too. I mean, really now, they had to eat, didn’t they? Anyone know what I’m talking about?
Seriously though, I have prayed and asked God to help me be more like Mary and just let all the things that I think are so necessary and important go and focus on the things that are really important. I don’t want to have people in my home unless it is spick and span clean. I can’t just whip up some snacks on paper plates when company comes, I must have a full meal and set the table with china. I stress over the company coming and everything being perfect for them and then serving them while they are there that after they are gone, I realize that I am exhausted, and the visit went too quickly. When we plan to go on vacation, I think I must clean the entire house, put clean sheets on all the beds, water all the plants and clean out the fridge and pantry and that’s before I ever even start to pack. Then, when we get in the car to go, I conk out and miss the fun of talking with the family while we drive. It’s a standing joke in my house that as soon as I sit down to watch a movie with the family, I’m sound asleep with my mouth wide open. I do so much to prepare for the moment, that when the moment comes, I’m too exhausted to enjoy it. So, we Martha’s justify our actions by thinking that we are doing what we do for everyone else. Yet, the more I’ve experienced and the older I get, I realize that those special people I was preparing all “that” for would rather have me there enjoying life with them.
Exactly two weeks before David passed away, we were at the house and my parents were here. David was having a rough morning and in a lot of pain. We prayed for him and the pain subsided but he just didn’t have any energy and didn’t look well at all. He wanted to go lay down in the bed and the Holy Spirit just impressed upon my Dad for all of us to be with him and for David to take some time to “speak a blessing” over his children. He told me to lay beside him and snuggle up to him with my head on his shoulder. We called Megan and Jake (our oldest daughter and son in law) and told them to come on over. We weren’t thinking that this was saying our goodbyes because we were still believing for a complete healing. However, we knew that we needed to surround David with our love. We were all there around him and he began to talk to each of our children and me and tell us how much he loved us. He apologized for things he wished he had done differently as their dad and my husband and spoke a blessing on each of us. We were able to tell him how much we loved him and apologize for things we wished we had done differently. We tried not to leave anything unsaid. It was a beautiful moment. Then, David started to doze off to sleep and we all laid there in silence. Of course, my mind started racing, as it tends to do. I started wondering what time it was, had the kids eaten lunch, were they getting bored just sitting there in silence, etc. So, I asked, “Have you all had lunch? There is a pot of soup on the stove.” Then, David, eyes closed with a smile on his face, softly says, “I hear Martha.” Well, of course we all cracked up laughing but he was so right. I thought he was asleep, but he was just peacefully laying there taking in all the love that we were surrounding him with and it had calmed him.
When Jesus was in the home with Mary, Martha and Lazarus, he knew that His time on earth was going to end soon. There wouldn’t be many more of these visits where they could just sit around and spend time together. That time together was the most important thing, not the food they would eat or whether or not the house was clean. That Saturday, we didn’t realize how important that time with David was. Oh, we knew that it was a very special moment for all of us, but we didn’t know that the following Monday, I would be taking him to the hospital and that less than a week later, he would not be able to talk to us anymore and in two weeks he would take his last breath here on earth. My husband’s three words impacted me that day–“I hear Martha”. When I look back at the time we had with him and the words that he said to each of us that we will hold on to forever and ever, I realize how unimportant everything else was.
One of the greatest lessons I have learned (and am still learning) through losing my husband is to take advantage of every moment. Be kind to one another. Don’t take anything for granted. Snuggles, spooning, hugs, just stopping to look into one another’s eyes . . . all of these things won’t be there forever. I’m finding that the things that David did that would drive me crazy are the things that I miss the most. I wish there were whiskers left in the sink that didn’t get washed down and socks left on the floor for me to pick up. The kids and I had the best time talking about the things that he did that drove us crazy a couple of nights ago. We laughed together talking about the things that we did that drove him crazy. Mekenzie said that he regretted the times that his dad would come into his room and say, “Hey son, do you want to watch a movie together?” and he would be in the middle of something that he didn’t want to stop and tell his dad, “maybe another time.” He said, “I would do anything to have the opportunity again.”
Do you hear Martha in your everyday doings? Is she robbing you and your family of precious moments? Trust me, even through all of this I still battle Martha in my personality. When it comes to spending time with Jesus, do you let every other distraction get in the way? I’ve finally learned, and unfortunately the hard way, that Martha didn’t have it all together. The house will get dirty again. People will get hungry again and another meal will have to be made. There will always be things to do, but we won’t always have our loved ones close to us. After I post this, I’m heading out to the funeral of a lovely lady from my church who has been taken from us because of the evil of cancer. This precious woman made the most of the time that she had left and spent it with friends and family. She will be missed. Please don’t read this and be sad. Please be encouraged today to put down the dust rag, order a pizza to be delivered, pull out some board games and spend some quality time making memories with those you love. When you “hear Martha” tell her to SIT DOWN!! I love each of you who read my blogs and I pray that you have an amazing day and be like Mary.
Now . . . to end with a laugh, check out this link: