Well, if you’ve put two and two together, you’ve figured out that I’m not Martha. As I began to feel led to create this blog, I was struggling for an appropriate name. One night, as I was praying, the story of Mary and Martha came to me. If you’re not familiar with this story, I would encourage you to read Luke 10, 38-42. In a nutshell, Jesus visits the home of Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha. As Martha is rushing around trying to make everything perfect for her honored guest, Mary sits at Jesus’ feet and attentively listens to his teachings. Martha complains to Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” Jesus responds, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” (v. 40-42, NAB)
As I continued to pray, a little voice inside my head said “Martha’s Heart”. I was surprised that it didn’t say “Mary’s Heart”, since the goal of this blog is to bring us all into greater discipleship of Christ, like the sister Mary. But that little voice – presumably the Holy Spirit – knew how very far I am from being a “Mary.” I’m much more like a Martha, preoccupied with the less important things, worried about who’s not doing their share, and wasting valuable time which would be much better spent with Jesus.
Not only that, but “Marysheart.com” was already taken. That Holy Spirit – he’s pretty smart.
There’s one other mention of Martha in the Bible, the raising of Lazarus (John 11, 1-45). In this story, Martha goes out to meet Jesus after Lazarus has died, telling him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. [But] even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus declares “I am the the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live; and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” To which Martha responds “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” Even though she believes this, Martha still does not think that Jesus can raise Lazarus, who’s been dead for four days.
This passage is further evidence of how like Martha I am. Martha seems angry with Jesus, and she doubts His infinite power. I must confess to a few times in life when I have been angry with God, and when I have under-estimated the power of Jesus. Even now, when my faith is so much stronger than it ever has been before, I have to remind myself that, with Jesus, all things are possible. She also says that she has “come to believe” that Jesus is the Messiah. I, too, have come to that knowledge. It wasn’t automatic, it didn’t happen in my youth as it did for so many people – the Mary’s in the world. I was a bit slower, but praise God, I’m a believer now!
So, this blog is for all you “Marthas” out there. My hope is that it will help all of us who are so imperfect to become more like Martha’s sister, Mary. Through the power of the Blessed Mother, may it help us to remember what is most important, and bring each one of us closer to Jesus the Christ.