Tag Archives: Martha and Mary

Standing in the Pain

Remembering Carl can be bittersweet. Even after three months, the thought of him causes my heart to sink and a sadness to sweep over me. So why is it that even though it hurts, I don’t want to forget our four legged family member?

My husband just recently had a picture of our friend placed into an acrylic cube for us to have as a way to remember him. The picture was taken when we were traveling and Carl was perched on the side of our truck. Even though we were going through a tough time with the sickness of a family member, that moment will always be considered special to us.

God never intended us to experience death when He created us. Genesis 3:2-3 states, “The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

Once Adam and Eve ate the apple, death came into the world. And now we have to figure out how to best get through the pain of loss. So often, we want to question God or turn our back on Him when the suffering becomes too unbearable.

Martha and Mary were also suffering for the loss of their brother. They could have become bitter and pushed Jesus away when he arrived after their brother died. Both women were in immense pain but somehow even then, they approached Jesus.

And this is where the shortest and one of the most profound verses in the Bible is placed. (John 11:35) ”Jesus wept.” No words. Just a heart wrenching emotion of love for these two women that were hurting. Jesus wants to weep alongside all of us as we go through the excruciating pain of loss. No judgement, no words, just heartfelt empathy.

So as much as I want to put away the pictures and avoid the pain, I believe facing it will help me to remember my savior standing in the pain providing me a peace that can only come from Him.

Stuck

Carl is stuck. It has been several nights that he has not budged from the couch.  No matter what I say to him, he refuses to get up and go back to the chair that has been his bed for countless nights.

Carl’s Bed

I have several theories that may be causing my little guy to choose the isolation of the living room over the bedroom where we all have been joined together for the last couple of years. He could be avoiding Bee, who he has been fearful of or he could just be content with being stuck in the couch.

Carl’s greatest fear

If you live long enough in this world, you will encounter a sticky place in life. We can be moving forward and then something occurs that gets us to stay put.  The cause can come out of nowhere or it can be as simple as settling into a routine.

Jesus encountered lots of stuck people.  Some that seemed more set in their ways than others. It was evident that the paralyzed man that sat at the pool of Bethesda was stuck. He had been sitting at the pool for years waiting for someone to help him so that he could be healed. There was also the Samaritan woman who had been stuck in the cycle of sleeping with men to meet a need that she believed couldn’t be met in any other way.

These examples are obvious but have you ever thought of Martha being stuck? Here was a woman that opened her house up for Jesus and was busy preparing a meal for him.  How can her innocent behavior be perceived as being stuck? If you take away the layers of duty and good works, you will see someone stuck in bitterness and resentment.

I can totally relate to being stuck where Martha was. For years, I took pride in my works and as I looked around, anger would come gushing out towards the people that weren’t working as hard as I was. My heart grew a hard shell towards people that I believed were getting an easy pass in life.

But then Jesus spoke to me through Martha. “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 38:41-42

I can envision Jesus doing what I do a lot with both Carl and Bee. He took his fingers and pointed them right at me and then turned them towards Him. “Cora, Cora, you are worried and upset about many things. Take your focus off of others and place them on me.”

Life has been so much better since the stickiness of bitterness and resentment have been unglued. I can’t say they don’t come to visit every once in a while but if I keep my eyes on my savior, I can keep them from sealing onto my heart.

Carl is still stuck to the couch and the fear that must be keeping him there. Hopefully, he will make a decision to unglue himself but until then, I know where I can find him.