Martha’s Reckoning

Dishes don’t wash themselves, so here I am again while she persists in lollygagging on the floor near our houseguest. Why can’t she be more down to earth like me instead of wasting time with her head in the clouds? I’ve covered for her so often it makes my head go to swimming. Just once, I’d like to be the one to ooh and aah and offer witty retorts; instead, the lines on my face are beginning to resemble my dishpan hands, and all I have to show for years of domestic labor are a body no man would want and a mind too dull for thinking beyond tonight’s matzah or tomorrow’s gruel. They would all go hungry if it wasn’t for me. Perhaps I should just let them fend for themselves this time. Enough is enough. It’s high time she carry her own weight instead of me toting the whole burden this place and that. None of this is fair. “Lord, if you cared one whit about me ….”

“Yes Lord, I hear you. There is a difference between choosing to serve and choosing to be a servant? Serving is all about me and servanthood is all about you? You mean that I’ve been so consumed with envy that it has become second nature for me to grumble, and that I retreat to the comfort of disgruntlement in order to cover my own insecurity? Attitude trumps action, and the right thing can be done for the wrong reason? I can’t bring myself to say I ought to be more like her, but I do confess my need to be more like you.”

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (‭Luke‬ ‭10‬:‭38-42‬ KJV)

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