Monday, October 21, 2013

"...You are anxious and troubled about many things."

As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.

She had a sister named Mary [who] sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.

Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”

The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.

There is need of only one thing.  Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her"

Luke 10:38-42


Well, at least Martha let Jesus into her house.  Most of us don't even get that far.  Our hearts are too scattered; like a messy home.  So we refuse to let the Lord in.  Yet, even if we are divided and distracted and pulled and anxious and worried about many things we at least need to let the Lord in.  He doesn't mind the mess we've made and we shouldn't mind letting Him clean up!  In fact He wants to bring some order to the mess, some unity.  Yes, he wants a unified, undivided heart but He's the One Who has to give it to us in the first place.  We need to let Him have all the fragemented parts of our heart. He will recreate and order our hearts.  But we at least need to let Him in the door.
Where's your heart? Is it scattered in many places, divided between this and that? Are you talking to the Lord about it? I mean, Martha does the right thing.  She relates her frustration to the Lord.  She prays.  She prays. Mary prays, too, and while Mary's prayer is better, purer, more attentive, at least Martha prays.  She doesn't hold it all in, she releases the frustration she has to the Lord.  She's honest.

"Lord, do you not care??"

Yes, He cares.  You know He cares even if sometimes it doean't feel that way.  Then listen to Him.  Even if we can be distracted and anxious, we can still choose to let the Lord into our hearts, into our honest reality, the real situation we're in, and slowly put down each care and worry before the Lord. Lay your cares before the Lord. Put down the pots and pans, Martha.  Let the soup simmer.  The table can be set later.  Stop.  Sit down. And pray.

I would submit to you that prayer becomes more real when it's honest.  Where are you at? I mean, really? What's really on your mind? What are you feeling lately? What do you want?

"What do you want Me to do for you?"

As if He only came for Mary? As if the Lord only wants to have an intimate relationship with "holy people;" monks and nuns? No.  He wants to talk to you.  He is your friend just as much as He is Mary's.  Mary just happens to have figured it out sooner than Martha. Ok.  You can do that, too.  So tell Him what's going on.  Bring Him the real you. What else could He possiblly want but you?

(Above: Painting in Sacristy of the
Basililca of St. Mary Magdalene)
Unless you have better things to do... but, Mary knew better from the start and that's why she more quickly chose the better part.  That doesn't mean Martha can't lay herself at Christ's feet at any moment.

Whatever it is, whatever's going on, just bring it to Him.  He knows you're anxious and worried about many things.  He knows.  That's why He came to your house.  He wants to talk to you. Honestly.

Give Him everything you've got - which is you.
Then receive everything He's got - which is Himself.

That's prayer.
Real, honest prayer.