Notes from Jan

Free to Sit

September 26, 2016

Chilly. Wind’s off the ocean. Beach forsaken by summertime’s sun seekers, swimmers and sandcastle artists.

Seasons fly like days, whisking me through these latter years like a time traveler.

Wondering how to invest what’s left of my one small dash.

Been pondering familiar words in Luke 10 from The Message. It’s the story of Jesus in Mary and Martha’s home, teaching  hungry hearts, including Mary’s.

Martha, experienced hostess,  remains at the stove, anticipating when folks will need to feast on more than words.

Since, I’m both, I picture Martha getting worked up in the kitchen.  Finally, hands on hips, Martha heads to Jesus. Time  to give Mary a lesson she won’t forget.

Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me?   Tell her to lend me a hand.”

Jesus said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much  and getting yourself worked up over nothing.  One thing only is essential and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” 

In the past, I’ve felt sorry for Martha, getting the comeuppance Mary deserved.  However, since I’ve a lot of Mary in me, I’m grateful Jesus affirmed her mind, encouraged her to sit and learn.

Today, the story speaks to me of balance and relationships, basics of my dash.  I love Martha’s comfort level with Jesus. Safe to “let it all out.”  Neither Martha’s truth telling nor Mary’s abandoning a traditional role gets them tossed, sent back to the kitchen.

Encouraging to picture Martha, loosening her apron, balling up this symbol of sameness, settling down beside Mary to listen to the One who soon will free more than their minds.    For now,  enough to be free to sit on her apron and appreciate the main course.


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  • Reply Valerie McCoy September 26, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Such thoughtful, hungering words Jan. I admit, with loving admiration, that I rush to sit quietly when the gentle ‘ping’ of my phone announces your writings…….your words fill so many spaces that I seem to have tamped down…..some are spaces of joy, some are loneliness, some are tears, many are laughter. Sometimes it would seem easier to remain in the kitchen, not daring to be ‘called out’ by the Master. And yet, at the same time, I never want to miss a word that makes me whole; and so I rush to sit at the head of the class.
    And make no mistake about it, you are magnificently more than ‘one small dash.’

  • Reply Elizabeth Payne September 27, 2016 at 12:30 am

    This scripture tells us how Jesus valued women. I love that Mary, could be seated with Jesus to listen to Him, not be separated like she would at temple. Martha was comfortable enough with an esteemed teacher to openly express her feelings. Somehow, I can’t imagine that being common place at that time. Yet, Jesus reminded Martha of what was more important, just being present. Jan, thank you for showing us Martha’s response. Perhaps Mary moved over so that Martha could sit close to Jesus,

  • Reply Dale Lefever September 27, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Thanks Jan,

    We can become weary “doing” things for Jesus, but no one ever has become tired by spending more time with Him. Also, I have decided to use a larger font size on my “dash” and feel younger already.

    Blessings dear friend, Dale

  • Reply Jeri September 27, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Perfect reminder for us all as we head into the busy fall season. Thank you for your words of wisdom Jan.

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