Sharon and Bert spent the last three days in Florida. They served large pots of chili and fried many a hot dog. They also cooked breakfast each morning for a crew of hard working volunteers who spent their days doing flood clean up and chatting with people who had lost so much.
Sharon, Meg, and Rosie were the 3 girls in the group. Emily (my co-teacher) and I watched them go a bit enviously. It inspired some thinking on my part. It started before they left. I said to Sharon “make sure you pray for the people you serve food to”.
She laughed “that’s your job,”
And so I thought about that and I thought about Mary and Martha. I identify with Martha. I can so see myself there, making supper for the visiting pastor and being so totally annoyed that Sharon just sits there and listens to him talking instead of helping. I mean, really, this guy came far to preach for us and he’s no doubt hungry and tired. Tired of talking even. Everyone should just mind their manners and give the guy a break. Everyone knows you don’t talk to guys when they’re hungry or tired. I see myself there. In Martha’s shoes. I feel sorry for her. People are always so hard on her and I’m just here like, no, that’s me. Please try to understand. Marthas always mean well.
But it was hard for me to see them go. I would have loved to be in the middle of it. It was much more of a sacrifice for me to stay here and teach my wonderful students and do the housework in the evenings than it would have been to get up at 5:30 to make breakfast for 30 people. To me, just having that experience is worth far more than any money I made the 3 days they were there. An experience is something that no flood waters can ever take from you. Something that is always part of who you are.
We had some good texting conversations too. Ones that went like this:
Meg: “Don’t y’all feel guilty for being at home making money while we are here serving the Lord?”
Me:”Don’t you feel guilty for leaving us at home to do our work plus yours?”
We really do enjoy those conversations. And it did make me think a lot about what service really is and what it means to live sacrificially. I think most of the time the ones who make the biggest sacrifices are the ones we never notice because they’re somewhere in the background, quietly working or maybe simply sitting at the feet of Jesus.
It’s not that Mary wasn’t doing anything. Don’t ever think that. Mary simply knew where the real power was. Mary, I think, was a prayer warrior. She was involved, committed, and busy. Busy serving the Master. Just as we should be.
I’m slightly worried that this sounds like I’m really bragging myself up for being the sacrificial one here and staying at home but that really isn’t the point. It just made me think. That’s all.