Seeking the Light
Not so long ago, I didn’t understand the Gospels, the separate but similar books written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
I read through them all confused over the lack of order, like a collection of short stories when I thought should be read like like a book with an understandable flow.
I thought it was just me who lacked in my grasping of meaning of the powerful recordings, the retelling of the life of Jesus from different perspectives. It confused me to read and then to turn to a new place and read again. I’m not a biblical scholar; but, I am literate, and was once called an “English honor”.
I thought I might never understand the Books of the Bible, the Book itself.
Until I was given my current Bible, four years ago, for Christmas.
In the back, each book and its writer has a description of their perspectives of the significant story of Jesus.
I’m not who I was back then.
Back then, I was thrilled to read about Martha, the sister who was pouty and pitiful and obsessed with her home being presentable.
Someone in the Bible who was just like me. I loved the account of their relationship. I still do. Me, the martyr of a mother, friend and sister, yes!
I’m more Mary now than then; but, still quite often, Martha.
“But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,”
Luke 10:40-41 ESV
I know it is important to sit with Jesus.
And so, I do. I sit in the dim early morning light and I practice being quiet with Him.
Everyone morning, it is hard for me to leave, the corner on the couch dedicated to sitting before work or whatever. I worry people think I’m lazy and my husband has named me “late Lisa”. I simply long to linger, I long to know more.
Because, by evening I’m afraid, I’m more Martha again.
I don’t have words for my husband, or conversations for others. I rush to get my house back in order, the pillows fluffed, the bed just so, the kitchen counters wiped down and free of crumbs and the mail and newspapers neatly sorted and then tucked away.
Then, I can rest; but, surely not before.
Advent, is for slowing down, to look for meaning in the shuffle, to be focused enough on the birth of Jesus to see at least hints of His light.
Seeing more clearly what Christmas is for, for me, it seems to be speaking surrender, rest, quiet resignation to the light.
To see His light when exhaustion creeps in, when worries over money will not go away, when you’re rushing and reevaluating the gifts you bought, questioning, do my gifts amount to enough, is it ever enough and maybe, why is it that always I am the one who has to give more?
Martha was that way.
I bet she swept the kitchen floor for hours awaiting the visit of Jesus. Mary sat waiting, waiting for His arrival with a quiet expectation and a worshipful readying of her heart.
She was at peace.
Peace is what we need.
To stay there longer in the moments we know it or look for it amongst the clamor and see your change in demeanor, your sense of season. It is to glow.
I keep peeking around the corner, I want to see it again, my gumdrop tree. I keep going back to it, the light, the peace of it, the childlike joy.
The child in me, or maybe the Mary, revisited an old tradition, did a new thing and in the process I’m closer to Mary, close to the baby’s glow.