Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”


If there is a lesson here for me it is to turn to the Lord. 

I’ve always been a little mystified by this story. I mean if no one is doing the dishes things are going 

to pile up pretty quickly. Maybe Martha is just bitter and doesn’t see or remember all the times that 

Mary helped with the work. Or, maybe Mary really is kind of lazy and wants all of the Lord’s 

attention. Maybe everything balances out in the end and truth can be a little tricky sometimes. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about sisters lately since my own sister is facing another seemingly 

insurmountable battle with cancer. 

We all play certain roles within our families. Sometimes it can be difficult to break free from those 

roles and their expectations...especially if we are comfortable in them or have learned to use them to 

our advantage. 

But roles shift as we go through the tides of life. Family dynamics change. Obstacles are faced. 

There are sorrows and joys and sometimes you find a strength that you didn’t know you had.

Or, the Lord awakens a strength that has been lying dormant.

You learn how to do housework or you learn how to sit quietly and listen to Jesus.

You learn how to drive your sister to a hospital that you’ve never been to or you find a way to open 

conversation that is heartrending and impossible. 

Maybe the story of Mary and Martha is not so much about what their hands are doing and more about 

what their hearts are full of.  

If washing the dishes is your thing then wash the dishes as an act of service for the Lord. 

Find joy in the fact that when Mary is done worshipping 

there will be a clean home and good food to share with them. 

Perhaps if Martha had let go of the bitter clamoring in her heart she could have listened to what Jesus 

was teaching while she did the housework. 

I don’t really think I have the full grasp of what this story is saying.

But I do know that I would gladly lay my sister at the feet of Jesus and wash every single dish, 

brush away every cobweb, sweep out every speck of dirt. 

...even lay myself at His feet because I know that there is really nothing else I can do. 


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  1. Oh, I am so sorry for the pain behind these beautiful sister-words.
    And honestly, I have always felt a little defensive about Martha, our casserole carrying fore mother.

  2. This sentence stopped me in my tracks. "Maybe the story of Mary and Martha is not so much about what their hands are doing and more about what their hearts are full of." What a thought.
    Continuing to pray for your sister and you this morning.

  3. Having two sisters that were pretty much my family growing up, the closeness is real. I can only imagine how gut wrenching it must be to watch your sister go through this. I like you analogy. I've often wondered about this story also, and wondered which I would have been.

  4. You and your family have been in my heart throughout the week. You are doing it. You are being honest, loving your sister, and taking your heart to the LORD. He is doing the rest. Your sentence about laying yourself and your sister at the feet of our LORD is precious. You both need rest, too. You will continue to be in my thought and prayers. Sending you and yours big, fat squishy hugs!

  5. I'm so sorry to hear your sister has this illness. That is awful. This is one of my favorite stories of all, and every time they read it at church, it really gets to me. For me, this story has always had a simple meaning. Jesus' words are far more important and special to hear than doing housework or any other thing. Can you even imagine listening to Jesus' wonderful words and being in the same room while he talks? I would drop everything, wouldn't you? No, Mary isn't lazy. She was just wise and knew the importance of Jesus' words. It reminds me of the world today. Everyone is busy busy busy, and if they were still, really still once in awhile, they would be able to hear God whispering to them. What you said is really the message of the story. You learn how to do housework or you learn how to sit quietly and listen to Jesus. : )



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