In Luke 9 Jesus has just crossed the hot deserts of Samaria where he had given up hope of Israel ever receiving him as their Messiah. He knew that his God given purpose to die on the cross for the sins of the world was going to happen soon. He made his way to the home of Mary and Martha who were his friends hoping to share all of his emotions and find comfort.
Martha’s first thought when she saw him enter was food centered. She immediately kicked it into high gear and began making preparations to serve him a meal. But Mary, whom you always find mentioned as sitting at Jesus’ feet, ignores all of the flurry going on in the kitchen while she gives Jesus her full attention.
When Martha complains to Jesus, Jesus tells her that Mary has chosen “the good part”.
In the chapter titled “The Growth of the Reflective Life” of Ken Gire’s book SEEING WHAT IS SACRED, he better illustrates just what Jesus meant:
“Imagine a sumptuous Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. Hillocks of mashed potatoes and dressing, sluiced with gravy, hot buttered rolls, cranberry sauce, an assortment of salads, trays of deviled eggs, olives, sweet pickles, slabs of pumpkin pie daubed with homemade whipped cream. All those things look wonderful, smell wonderful, taste wonderful.
Now imagine that meal without a turkey.
The portion around which all the other food is centered is the butter-basted turkey, cooked golden brown and filling the entire house with its mouthwatering aroma. That is the “good part” of the Thanksgiving meal.
Without intimate fellowship with Christ, the Christian life is just a buffet of so many side dishes and relish trays.”
How many times since the death of my husband have I asked God, “Why am I here? What is my purpose now if I am no longer to be a wife? What’s the point?” How many times have you asked those very same questions?
I now believe this is the purpose of every widow – to chose “the good part” of learning how to have that intimate fellowship with Christ. “How do I do that?” you may ask. I would say that first of all you have to come to the point where you can be still. That’s hard to do when you are struggling so hard to find your identity and you want to find it in a hurry because you don’t like being out in that place of limbo where grief throws you. I can’t tell you how long it may take you to get to that point. For some, it may come sooner than for others.
Once you can be still, then your heart will be ready to “hear” God’s still, small voice and the communication can begin. You may feel His stirring in your heart as you are reading your Bible. Or perhaps you find that Christian music fills up your heart with Him. It may be that He speaks in the rustle of the pages of a book you are reading. God can commune with you through the beauty of nature. Theses are just a few of the countless ways that I am finding “the good part”.
I challenge you to stop struggling so hard against what grief has brought to you. Instead, lean into it and just be still so that you, too, can find “the good part”.