The restaurant buzzes with activity as the morning patrons gather to enjoy a hearty breakfast. I take the last bite of my eggs benedict and smile. The lemon from the hollandaise sauce tantalizes my tongue. “Oh, this is so good. You should try it next time,” I say to Mary.
She glances at the washroom door where Martha had disappeared ten minutes prior. “She’s been gone too long.”
I wipe my mouth with the napkin. “I didn’t mean to upset her.”
Mary waives her hand as if dismissing her sister’s actions. “No worries. She’ll get over it.”
“Do you get along at all anymore?”
Mary sighs, her eyes dulling. “Ever since Jesus reprimanded her, she’s been distant.”
“How do you mean?”
“We’re not as close. She’s always angry with me or at least it feels that way.”
“For what Jesus said?”
“You mean you haven’t figured it out after all these years?” Martha pulls her chair out, scraping it on the floor. “I would think it’s obvious.” She sits.
“What are you talking about?”
Martha scowls. “Jesus preferred you over me.”
“I made sure everything was perfect. I cooked and cleaned. The house was spotless. But it wasn’t good enough. And ever since that day, I just wanted to be like you. You had his undivided attention.”
I watch the exchange between sisters, keeping silent and letting them work through years of anger and resentment. I wonder if this is what it’s like to be a counselor.
Mary places her hands overtop of her sister’s. “Martha, Jesus only wanted you to focus on him, not the stuff around you. And for what it’s worth, I’ve always wanted your gift of hospitality.”
I slump in my chair. Wow. Each sister is jealous of the other.
How many of us are guilty of the same thing? We’re jealous of a friend, sibling, co-worker? We want something they have or we wish we had their gift.
Confession time. We’ve all been jealous of someone at one point in our lives, but we ALL have our own special gift. Something God’s given us.
When will we be satisfied and stop comparing ourselves to others? It’ll only lead to jealousy and in the end bitterness
Jesus loved Mary and Martha equally. They both just needed to serve Him wholeheartedly with their unique gifts and focus totally on Him.
Let’s not have a jealous heart.
Replace it with love.
What do you think? Was Martha jealous of Mary? We don’t know that for certain but you wonder. Is there someone in your life you’re jealous of? Don’t share names here but just remember . . . you’re special the way you are!
P.S. There’s still one conversation left with these sisters. Stay tuned for part 3!
Luke 10:40 (VOICE)
Lord, why don’t You care that my sister is leaving me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to get over here and help me.