“[Martha] had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying.” – Luke 10:38-42
I’m listening, Jesus. Can’t you hear me listening?
I’m listening while I’m working.
See how hard I’m working.
All alone I’m working.
Don’t you care? I’m working.
And I’m listening while I’m working.
Have no fear about that, now. I’m listening.
I’m working because there’s work.
So much need, so much work.
Who else is working?
Don’t you care I’m working?
Still listening; still working.
Don’t worry about listening. I am listening.
The needs, they keep shifting.
Some things I’ve done aren’t working.
I’ll try something new.
Don’t you care to share something new?
Let me get this done while I’m listening.
Speak your peace, Jesus. I’m listening.
Yes, I’m listening, Jesus.
Can’t you hear me listening?
A poem/prayer based on Luke 10:38-42, the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel Reading for Year C, Proper 11 (16).
The story of Mary and Martha has often been used to praise contemplative spirituality and criticize engagement with others. I think that’s a misleading reading. Jesus commented on Martha’s worry and distraction, not her activity. What distinguished the two women was that Mary listened. Someone with a spirituality of involvement can be an active listener to Jesus, and a contemplative can certainly listen to self rather than to Christ.
The photo is of a fresco depicting Mary, Martha, and Jesus in Martha’s house. The fresco is in the St. Lazarus Roman Catholic Church in al-Eizariah (Biblical Bethany). Photo by Fallaner – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72990656.