I recently read a blog a facebook friend of mine posted on their page that stopped me in my tracks. It was about the recent women's marches that had been going on. The message the author shares is powerful but what struck me was the new perspective on one of my favorite stories in the Bible - the story of Mary and Martha.
You see, I've always LOVED the Mary and Martha story because I am a TRUE Mary, and sitting at Jesus's feet comes so naturally to me. Mostly because I just don't have it in me to prepare feasts for tons of people. Forget the feast, I'm exhausted by the tons of people. I can barely get it together for the five people living in my house. I relish quiet and rest and wisdom and depth. And in the world today, those qualities are not usually seen as super valuable. Seriously, I am still waiting for someone to create the job that pays me to sit around and think, read, and philosophize (any takers?). So enter this great story and Jesus is basically saying, "Oh no, Mary knows what she's doing and she's made the better choice," and my heart begins exploding with vindication while my fist is pumping like, "See everyone?! I'm actually pretty cool!" Because like so many other women, I have felt like "less than" when I've seen the incredibleness of those around me. It's just so hard to not compare.
As I read that blog, I was so challenged to take another look at the heart of what He's saying, and my heart, even as I read the story. Jesus isn't upset with Martha at all when she's running around doing the work she's been woven together to do. Jesus never says that's bad. In fact, I'm pretty sure He's with me in celebrating the great handiwork of His father. The rebuke comes after the comparison. "Why isn't my sister helping me? Tell her to help." He addresses her worry and her upset. And one of those upsets comes directly as a result of comparing herself to her sister. UGH! Maybe I am more like Martha than I thought...
I have so many friends like her! In fact, I tend to surround myself with them because they are a real help to a person who isn't fast-moving, great at entertaining crowds, full of energy, or able to throw together an amazing dinner party for a hundred of her closest friends on the spur of the moment. They're remarkable (most of our Chase Is Real team is made up of these women!). I'm in awe of them, to be honest. But I can just as easily get really down on myself when I look at someone like my friend Brooke, who can entertain ANY group of people in a matter of seconds with her quick wit. I, on the other hand, have to consciously plan what I'm going to say and I'm very intentional with my words when I talk to people. Or when I watch my friend Candace take a drab space and transform it in seconds (and on a budget, no less) into something warm, inviting, and welcoming. I can feel completely inadequate and never want to let anyone come to my house. Or when I go to my friend, Hiatt's, for dinner and see a delicious array of food and personalized gifts at every beautiful place setting, I think, "Yeah, I'm never hosting a supper club!" Those thoughts make me want to shrink and hide away.
But what I have found as God has surrounded me in my lifetime with the most amazing women is that comparison kills. It kills relationships, joy, my soul, and my self - the self that God created and intentionally designed. Just like that perspective shift I got from the blog, God has given me a perspective shift on women. He has shown me that when each of us lives in our genius and works together, something incredible is created. He doesn't want me to be like Brooke, or Candace, or Hiatt, OR Mary or Martha. He wants me to be like Lisa. He wants me to join together with my sisters, celebrating each other's strengths and working together to make something beautiful for Him. Because when we do, all I can say is HOLY happens! Lives are transformed. And people experience Him.
Lisa is a deep-thinker, a philosopher in cute jeans and flip flops, a Nutty Professor - mom style. She recognized God's presence at an early age and has lived life mostly open to Him. She hears His voice in books, movies, and music - no matter the genre! She is serious about the work of living Loved, loving God, and loving people.