Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mary vs. Martha

My mom sent me this book, "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World." You know the story where Martha is all busy preparing for Jesus while Mary hangs out at his feet? And then at the end of it Jesus says that Mary did the better thing. It's in large print, and I'm a little wary of it, because I'm not sure how the author was able to make an entire book out of this story. It's for women, and I think the premise is to slow us down, encourage us take on less, become more intimate with God. That sort of thing.

I can see some of this wisdom. We are the type of people who take on a lot, you and I. Lots of knitting, lots of learning, lots of all that stuff. Sometimes we need a reminder to stop and make time for God. However, I don't know about you, but I've never liked the story about Mary and Martha. I never liked that Jesus seemed to reprove Martha. Because I align with her. I feel for her. And so I have my own theories. Maybe Martha was fine. She was, after all, serving her lord in the way that she knew how. Maybe Martha wasn't the problem. Maybe the problem was Jesus. Okay that sounds blasphemous. But maybe the difficulty lay in the fact that Martha wasn't speaking in his love language, and so he didn't recognize that what she was doing was serving him. It could have been a lack of communication. Because I think what Martha did was fine. She was all about being a good hostess and serving her guest.

I began to suspect this book when I came to the realization that this was a book for women. As far as I can tell, it is solely for women, with apparently no mention made of the man. And I began to wonder what the reason was for this. Are men less likely to take on more work? Or are they less likely to be distracted by their work? Are men inherently closer to God that they don't need this reminder to slow their lives down? NO!! Of course not! So why is the focus on women? Why?

I don't like where this book seems to want to go. Isn't it possible to find God within the busyness of life? Or should we give up the prospect of doctorates and listen meekly? Mary was a wimp. Long live Martha.


No comments: