Sister, Sister

by | May 14, 2013 | God's Hands, Service

My sister, Mrs. Clean, bleaches her ceiling, vacuums the driveway, and irons socks. Her house looks like a magazine cover. Mine looks like the county dump. Her floors are so clean you could eat off them. You can eat off mine too . . . If you’re a dog.

I can relate to the Bible story of Mary and Martha. Martha must have been like my sister — a conscientious perfectionist who took great pride in how she kept her home. She probably enjoyed the praise of all who knew her. Martha was the type who would never leave for church with her house looking like it had been ransacked.

Mary was more relaxed. When there was grain to grind, or if the dog tracked mud on the carpet, I’ll bet Mary didn’t stress over it. Chances are that she didn’t mind fingerprints on the patio doors. Well, she didn’t have carpeting or glass doors; but you get my point. Mary’s priorities weren’t like her sister’s; and that made Martha resentful.

Martha thought Mary wasn’t doing things right. It upset her that Mary ignored important things like combing the rug fringes in the same direction and alphabetizing the canned vegetables.

If you’ve read the story of these sisters, you know I’ve exaggerated; but you also know which sister pleased Jesus. Mary’s focus wasn’t on looking good or doing things perfectly. In fact, her desire was not to “do” anything. It was to just “be” with her Lord. Martha was worried about getting things done, but Jesus said, “Mary has chosen what is better.” (Luke 10:42 & 43)

When I was young, I was the perfect mom, rising at 4:00 a.m. to bake bread for my son’s school lunch. My house was spotless and I volunteered for every community project.

Then I got sick.

I had to stop helping at school, teaching at church, and leading clubs. In fact, I stopped everything and spent most of my time in bed, feeling guilty. My self-esteem had always hinged on what I could do. Suddenly, unable to maintain a whirlwind pace, I felt worthless.

Thank God that He looks at our hearts, loving us no matter how we perform. We don’t have to earn His affection.(1 Samuel 16:6-8) He accepts me even when I’m unable to do anything. All He expects is for me to return the love He gives.. How comforting to relax in God’s unconditional love!

It’s my attitude that matters. Jesus said many who do good deeds will be separated from him on judgment day. He’ll tell them “I never knew you.”

I don’t want to be in that group, separated from the one I worked to serve! I want to develop my relationship with God, because that is what will last forever.

I can’t do many things I used to do; but, that’s okay. Like the woman in Mark 14, I do what I can. Thank God, that’s all he expects! What matters most is not pleasing people or appearing spiritual, but serving the one who frees me from striving and who loves me unconditionally.

Marsha Jordan


Sister, Sister