Dec 092012
 
Applause for the volunteers
who spend hours behind the scenes;
those wise time-tithing ones invest their sixteen hours and forty-eight minutes
in the acceptable visible behind the scenes way.
 
Organize and lead the Alpha course.
Don’t be late for BSF. Did you do the homework?
Teach Sunday School. Lead a Pioneer Club group. Lead a VBS group.
Cook dinner for one hundred twenty. Donuts for five hundred.
 
Organize PE groups for homeschool students.
Direct speech and debate tournaments.
Attend or host homeschool support groups and church small groups.
Do it all. All the time. You can do more. You can always do more. We know you can!
 
Why? Maybe because we are perfectionists.
It’s never enough; we can never do enough.
Because we can never be enough.
Never be perfect.
 
Never.
None of us.
And by “none of us” I mean “none of us.”
And I mean “me.”
 
No matter how much Sunday school we teach.
Or how many Alpha courses or Bible studies we organize.
Or how many debate tournaments we run or teams we manage.
No matter the consequences.
 
Be there first. Leave last.
Above all, make it all look easy.
Don’t worry. Really. Just don’t worry. Everyone’s doing it.
No one will see all the falling behind.
 
The smoke rises from the ashes of the burnout, our eyes are red,
we are bitter, and our nerves are frazzled.
Even though we don’t have a moment to be still and know . . . or listen or pray
we do it anyway.
 
We try to be still.
We pray.
We read and we listen.
By “we” I mean “me.”
 
But only one thing is needed, is what we read.
Mary has chosen what is better,
and it will not be taken away from her.
Also, we hear Him whisper in ways experienced and not necessarily heard that
 
they
leave
the
nest
 
too soon, and that
this season, like all seasons, is not permanent;
it is excruciatingly long in the living of each day
and excruciatingly short in the end.
 
Only one thing is needed and she chose what is better.
He, the God of the universe, said she had it right.
He, the God of the universe, said she chose what is better.
Why, then, does she feel confused?
 
Because she feels the judgement
every Sunday morning.
It’s silent.
That is, until it isn’t silent anymore.
 
“Pew warmer,” the speaker said. They all chuckled.
And she doubted
what HE had whispered and what HE said. HIMSELF.
The God of the universe.
 
To heck with sixteen hours and forty-eight minutes.
Is it just a nice thing to say that we should submit ourselves
to Him, the God of the universe, one hundred sixty-eight hours a week? 
Is it wrong that we treat this as our act of worship to the God who created us?
 
It’s not enough! Get up Mary! Who do you think you are?
Look! Martha is working so hard. Let’s give her a round of applause.
Submit to programs and countable hours, and maybe if time allows
To Him, the creator of the universe, who called her to be His child.
 
That’s the reality.
The truth of the acceptable visible behind the scenes way.
The truth – the twisted irony – is that the church applauds Martha and
judges Mary.
 
She knows.
She is Martha.
She is Mary.
By “she” I mean “me.”

  2 Responses to “Judging Mary”

  1. I’m glad you posted this. And I’m glad we’re walking this at the same time. Makes me feel like I’m not alone.

  2. You have many walking with you down this path—-serving our families and being accused of not doing enough….but who can say what is enough…and aren’t our families the most intimate mission field we could ever go to?

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