Day 15: The Power of Choice (Pt 2)
Martha's burnout came from feeling she had not choice. She did not choose her circumstances. She did not choose being the oldest in the family. As a woman of her time she could not even choose a marriage partner or pursue further education. The many things that weighed her down were driving her life and left her feeling without control.
I believe when a dozen men with growling stomachs found a way into Martha's home the pressure was on for both Mary and Martha. Hospitality was a key feature in the ancient near east. Providing water to wash one's feet was a common gesture. Serving wine and food was expected. Mary would have known all that and probably started serving as usual.
As the evening wore on and her cheeks became rosy from rushing back and forth between preparing food and serving wine something caught her attention. At first she thought she just imagined it. Something seemed so different about this Man. In between refilling cups and placing fresh bread on the plates she caught glimpses of His face which seemed to radiate from the inside out – as if the sun itself was housed within His frame. The joy and laughter that accompanied His presence dispelled a weight and an oppression she did not even know she had carried for so long.
Sometime during that evening she decided to risk the disapproval of her older sister and her mood swings. In the presence of Peter, James and John, those who considered woman and children a nuisance not worthy of the teacher's attention, in front of Matthew raising His eyebrows and Judas sceptic gaze she lowered herself to the feet of Jesus in an unconventional, unprecedented choice.
The fact is: Everyone expected Mary to be serving silently in the background that night, everyone but Jesus.