Every once in a while I run into blog posts that remind us Christian women that we need to be a Mary in a Martha world. In fact, I ran across it again the other day, and the hurt, and the shame, and disappointment welled up inside of me. For years I struggled with who I am. I am not a Mary. I am not a quiet and meek woman. My strengths are logic, calculations, tasks, and getting things done. And every time I ran across those articles telling me I needed a different personality, I would curl up in a corner and wonder why God made me this way.
It took a while, but I slowly began to see God did not make a mistake when he made me. People like me are needed in this world, and they are needed in the church. Our strengths shore up other’s weakness, just as much as our weaknesses are honed and made stronger by those different from us. We need friendly, outgoing people. We need kindhearted caretakers. But we also need people who are detail-oriented. People who serve behind the scenes. We need Marthas and Marys.
So why do so many of us elevate Mary and put down Martha? I think it’s because we don’t understand what Jesus was really saying in that passage. Not once does Jesus tell Martha to become Mary. Instead, he pointed out where Martha’s focus was. She was so busy serving Jesus that she forgot Jesus. She was worried, and that worry made her lash out at her sister. Instead, he wanted to direct her attention back to what would really last. That meal she was preparing? It would soon be consumed and done. But time spent with him? It would never vanish.
Now does that mean we never cook another meal again (hahaha! I wish!). No, it means while we serve, we keep our focus on the one we are serving. It’s not about being Mary or Martha, it’s about Jesus. Are you a Mary? Then in your quietness enjoy your Lord. Are you a Martha? Then in your service, enjoy your Lord.
If you are a Martha, God isn’t calling you to be a Mary. He is calling you to spend time with him, and serve him with the gifts, personality, and talents he gave you. Those are the moments he spoke of that can never be taken away.
How about you? Are you more like Martha or Mary? Do you ever struggle with the person God made you?