Thursday, July 9, 2009

Martha plus Judas does not equal Mary

Last night one of our lovely young deacons greeted me by saying that he knew with certainty that God was very, very pleased with me.

That was his greeting. The first words he spoke to me.

He is a gentle, sweet spirit, and was undoubtedly encouraging my propensity toward operating ala Martha. And it did encourage me.

But it also convicted me.

It's bad enough that I congratulate myself for my Martha busyness, neglecting to be Mary in the process. But in prayer this morning I realized something even worse; I also use my Martha to justify my Judas. As if the good works that I do somehow counterbalance the evil that I do.

But it doesn't work that way.

My works are good, and He is pleased by them. As this morning's 1 Samuel passage read, He remembers the prayers prayed and the alms offered. But they can't compare in weight to the sin. It's not a balancing act. The loving touches that a wife abuser offers do not lesson the damage and shame of the punches. Just the opposite; they become a mockery of what should be beautiful.

So this morning was a time of gentle chiding. He is so very gentle with me.

He wants more of my attention. More of the attention I direct toward objects which are indeed lovely, but less lovely than He.

I am encouraged by the quote I posted earlier today; I work toward obedience through the gift of faith God has granted me, and I hope for the bloom of patience upon it.


Cynthia said...

How very interesting. I came here after posting that today was a day of conviction for me as well...I was chided for praying "Pretty Prayers". But I was convicted at Christmas for the very thing you are writing about.... I am often torn between Martha tendancies and a Mary heart!

And yes, I do think we are kindred spirits!

Pranayama mama said...

I'm neither Martha nor Mary lately. Whenever I check in, God's saying, "I'm still here!" (and quietly asking "But, really, where are you?"). Not in the Word. Not at church. Not with Christian friends. Weakened prayer life. What gives?

Suzanne Marie DeWitt said...

YOU tell ME. What gives, chickie?

My advice is just do it. It's like exercising; you've got to break the inertia, and once you get going again it becomes routine.

Meanwhile, I'll pray for you.

Cynthia said...

I agree with you Eva...I just told someone in the comment section of my blog, that when prayer has faltered it sometimes takes a lot to get the feelings back. Like the marriage counsellors always say , act like you love someone until the feelings return. So we pray even when we are not sure if we are doing it right, even if we don't seem to be heard, even when the words come bouncing back ...we pray because we were told to by both the Father and the Son! Because it brings the knowledge of Gods will into our lives and changes our perspective! We pray because we must...