She lifted the corner of her apron and swiped at her brow. All morning she’d been baking, and cleaning, making ready for the gathering.
“Where’s that sister of mine? Why isn’t she here helping?” She gave an exasperated sigh.
“Who knows? No doubt following the Holy Man, as He walks around the village. Well, doesn’t she think that I also would love to follow Him? After all, He brought our beloved brother back to life.”
Another sigh—another apron-swipe. “Well, someone has to ready the house for the gathering. Someone has to see that there is sufficient food for the crowd.”
Her eyes swept the room again. Everything looked perfect for her favourite Person. …She gave a sigh. Oh, why was she --? Why couldn’t she be more like Mary, relaxed, casual? Why did she always have to have everything faultless—in place--spotless? Why?”
Suddenly, she was swept off her feet. “How’s my little ‘Miss Fussbudget’? Everything looks MAGNICENT!” Lazareth swung his big sister around, kissing her on the cheek.
“Oh! Here they come.” Her eyes swept the room again. Everything must be perfect!
Suddenly she was shoved to the side as the crowd pressed their way into the room, all talking at once. … And there she was, the quiet one--her little sister--hanging on to the robe of their Friend.
The group settled down on the floor, the Holy Man crouching in the midst of them. In a soft voice He began to speak. Martha crept quietly up to her sister, “Mary, don’t you care that there are things you could be doing to help get the food ready?”
Mary began to rise. Suddenly she felt guilty. Yes, she should be helping. But a gentle hand pulled her back to her spot on the floor.
“Martha, Martha, don’t be agitated. Mary has chosen the right thing. It is more important to hunger for the things of God than to be worried about temporal things. Don’t you remember when I fed five thousand or more people on a little boy’s lunch? Don’t you think that when lunch time comes that there will be enough to go around? Come, my dear friend, Martha. Sit by your sister and listen to all I have to tell you about Heavenly things. Earthly things will take care of themselves.”
Martha dropped to her knees, hugging her little sister. She wept, asking forgiveness. She felt the touch of the Holy Man on her head. She vowed that from that day on she would concentrate on making sure that her soul was spotless, instead of worrying that everything was perfect in her house.
© Helen Dowd