Martha or Mary? Mary Moments



All my life I’ve fancied myself a “Mary”–a deep, contemplative spirit, lounging at the feet of Jesus–a sort-of mystic. But recently, a different sort of awareness has been edging me into reality.

These past two plus months have been incredibly busy. My husband was away, working on a major remodel of a place we go to in the winter to escape winter cold. During his absence, I assumed all the chores he does for us (I won’t elaborate). Oh, I knew what they were, but had no idea of the time he spent making our life better. And these don’t include the ones we share–for example, caring for the dogs. He was home for a few days, then we swapped places and I came down here to clean up the carnage and unpack myriads of boxes. In the midst of all this busyness, I completed a number of edits and finally published my second novel, The Sin of His Father, on CreateSpace…a fun, though time-intensive process.



Now I sit down at my laptop, look around me at a space that was utter chaos a few weeks ago, and know the joy and satisfaction of completion. I’m ready to return home (a two-day drive) and resume a routine that is so much more balanced. It scares me!

Now what do I do, how do I spend my time? I know that I need to do something to promote my book (a task I abhor) but aside from my blogs and poetry, I have no huge projects to distract me from the art of grace-filled living.

Yesterday, in my morning prayer time, my perusal of Luke brought me to the story of Martha and Mary (Lk. 10, 38-42)–you know the one. Mary, sitting at the Master’s feet, loving, while she left her sister Martha busting her tush preparing dinner for the Lord. A bit of resentment stoked Martha’s fires and she had her say about it.

Mary has chosen the better part. That was Jesus’ message. I wonder how Martha felt about that?

In this reading of an oh-so-familiar gospel, it dawned on me, after fooling myself for so many decades, that I am no Mary, I’m really a Martha. Sometimes reality comes crashing in on us, and this was one of those moments. Now I’m trying to figure out how to reconcile the myth with the reality.

Since reading that, although I’ve been busy, I’ve tried a bit harder to grasp at Mary Moments. One of the ways I’ve done that is to black out TV and radio completely. I had been listening to grim news and Teaching Company CD’s non-stop in the background, while working. What a great way that was to silence the Spirit!

The experience wasn’t easy. Quiet allows all those thoughts we lock up to escape and haunt us. Some of them–unkind thoughts, anger–need to be faced and dealt with using prayer and forgiveness…oh yeah, and self-acceptance.

As I face a two-day drive through the Mojave Desert and the breath-taking Eastern Sierra, I promise you, I will be listening to some CD’s. I really don’t want to fall asleep at the wheel. But, in the meantime, I do hope to create space for silence…those blessed Mary-Moments.