Martha’s Second Act
We sat on her condo porch pointing out how beautiful the egret was as he poked around in the mud.
Same place, different time, we were stunned into silence by the way the sun cut streaky shards of light through the pine trees.
And the crocuses coming up through the spring snow all pointy and purplely and alive.
And the fog as it hugs the hills, and the pink morning clouds, and the CUTEST PUPPY EVER!
Don’t we comment all the time on the beauty of animals, trees, flowers, nature? Why? What are they doing special? Nothing. NOTHING! They are doing nothing special.
But they are being what God created them to be. Doing what He created them to do.
The egret on Hood Canal.
The sun blazing through a pine tree.
A grove of Aspens shaking and shimmering in the wind.
Animals at the zoo.
The beach. Anytime. Anywhere. Always.
What’s the big deal?
This is the big deal — they’re being what God created them to be. That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less. Doing what God created them to do. And we marvel. And we take pictures.
We sit in beach chairs all day watching waves do their thing. Be waves. Crash. Crash. Crash. And dolphins showing off. Up and down. Up and down. And sand crabs scuttling and hurrying to burrow into the wet sand.
And we cannot get enough.
So . . . How beautiful are we then, when we are being who God created us to be, doing what He created us to do. Joyfully, gratefully, contentedly.
No complaining, no arguing, no comparing, no whining, no tattling on the one not doing what we’re doing.
We make ourselves at home in God’s love, pitch our tents in His Hope, and do what we’ve been called to do. Be who we’ve been called to be.
That’s why I don’t want anyone to miss Martha’s second act.
Mary and Martha. You know Mary and Martha.
Mary = the good, obedient sister.
Martha = the cranky, chastised sister.
Admit it, ladies. No one aspires to be Martha.
And this is why I don’t want anyone to miss Martha’s second act.
Her first act with Jesus doesn’t go very well (Luke 10:38-42). She’s distracted and mad and all complainy to Jesus about her lazy sister. Who won’t help her. Who’s sitting down. Who’s ignoring all the preparations that have to happen to host a proper dinner party.
But Jesus does what Jesus does. Martha, Martha, He says, and leans in and loves and beckons her to a better way.
Then her brother dies. (John 11) And Jesus brings him back to life. And she believes. And sees God’s glory.
One chapter later in John 12, Jesus comes back to their home for another dinner party and Martha has Act Two.
A dinner is being given in Jesus’s honor by the sisters and Lazarus (And that’s crazy right!? He’d been dead and . . . now he’s not!!! And he’s hosting a dinner party!!!) A party to celebrate the One who brought life from death.
And two words get me every time: Martha served. (John 12:2)
I LOVE that Martha doesn’t stop serving in Act Two. She doesn’t concede to be like Mary because people like Marys better. She doesn’t retake her spiritual gift inventory sure that Prayer or Giving or Martyrdom will come out on top this time.
Martha’s learned that it’s best to do what God created her to do — serve, but with a whole new attitude.
She settles into her calling with a heart that’s been rearranged and engaged and beckoned to a better way.
And what about you?
What have you been called to do? This season. Right now. You.
Not your sister or your mom or your friend or neighbor.
Do what you’ve been called to do.
Do it as unto the Lord.
Do it with a smile and a hand and a Hope. Pitch your tent there.
Because it’s a beautiful thing when we see each other doing their thing.
I’d sit on the beach all day to watch that.