Journey Part One: Vulnerability

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I have been meditating a lot on the story of Mary and Martha, reading commentaries and trying to piece together the thoughts that I have around that story in Luke 10. We know Martha was a God fearing woman, she was likely very capable. Her behaviour in this story, feels like an unfair representation of who she is; if we view the words of Jesus as harsh or uncaring. But what if we look at it another way?

Distraction comes from a place of anxiety and being pulled in two directions. I think Martha really wanted to sit at the table with Jesus, like her sister Mary. Perhaps she had older sibling syndrome, always a bit of a rescuer, or maybe she felt the external pressures of expectation that divided her heart from what it desired most. Did she even realise it? The stirring within her, of her One Thing?

Maybe her life had been a series of obligated choices and living up to the expectations of others. Perhaps Martha had always been compared to Mary, her younger sister? Was Mary more beautiful than Martha, was Mary more spunky, outgoing and maybe Martha just sometimes lived in a place of resentment for what was expected of her. We don’t know. We can only guess.

But we can rightly assume this; Jesus words to her, spoke direct to her heart on the very things that had been whirring about within her all evening; “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her”

Martha was given a choice; to align her feelings to the truth, or to align them to the place of obligation and expectation. I believe Jesus response to her, empowered her and ministered to her. It wasn’t just a cutting rebuke or oversight, He saw her intrinsic value and worth… she was more than just all the peripheral details and duties. She was more than just a great hostess. She was more than just the demands she placed on herself, and then onto others. She was a woman of God. VALUED.

When we don’t recognise our own value, we run the risk of doing as Martha did; projecting our expectations onto others, and failing to see our own pain. Being real with ourselves, with God, is one of the hardest things to do. Thats why I admire Martha. She got real. And you and I need to also.

Real takes trust, courage and vulnerability . When you read about Martha, don’t you naturally have a response of compassion for her? Do you judge her? Do you condemn her and want to tell her what a lousy preoccupied pathetic woman she was that night? Her vulnerability takes us to places that are hard… if Im honest, I cringe just a little… because I think of the times when my ‘internal battle’ revealed itself in the presence of people I wanted to impress. But I relate to her, and she helps me to get honest with myself. I, more than anything, want to draw up a seat beside her and ask her all about that night and what the look was on Jesus face, and did it surprise her, and how did her heart melt.

You and I cant grow, unless were in a place where we are willing to be vulnerable and show up, to get real with ourselves and with God. Its the place where we can discover our TRUE VALUE. We are more than just our issues and challenges, we belong. Thats essential.

Let me be real with you and tell you that belonging is one of the hardest challenges Ive faced. For so many of us, that sense of fear of not belonging can be traced right back to words someone said to us, years and years ago, that carved a pathway in our brain – leading us over and over back to the same conclusion: not really valued. What a lie.

So, todays challenge is to replace the lies with the truth. And thats going to take COURAGE.

I want you to take a piece of paper, and draw a picture of how you see yourself. Anything. An object, animal, plant… be honest.

Next I want you to take another piece of paper, and draw a picture of how you know God sees you. Be vulnerable. Let Him flow through your pencil and express a picture of your value to Him.

Place the two, side by side. Do the two look similar? Or is there a major gap in your thinking as to how He sees you?

And heres the next challenge: Connect with someone today. Ask the Lord who and how and reach out to someone who is on your heart. Don’t expect anything of them, don’t hit them up for weekly prayer meetings or a deep get together. Just ask the Lord how you can celebrate that person today… anonymously drop off a gift? Write them a note? Let them know practically that you care for what they are going through?

Then sit this evening with Gods picture of you and your journal, and allow the Lord to start whispering back into your heart, a sense of value. You are a good mum, you are a good friend, you are worthy, you are valued, you are loved, you are gracious and beautiful, your hands and your heart are His, your mouth is His, your mind is becoming as His is.

….. Next part to come.

3 thoughts on “Journey Part One: Vulnerability

  1. How do i see myself: i literally drew a hammer. I’m destructive, abrasive, hard – but also a tool to be used to construct, maintain and create.

    How the Lord see’s me: I saw the ocean, beautiful waves, with a white sandy beach before me. And the word Peace softly placed above the scene. I immediately laughed within and said, that’s weird and not me at all. But i felt, “draw it”. God says as my pencil gently glides over paper, “when i spend time with you, i feel at peace”. How could this be possible – a hammer never brought peace to anyone? “A hammer gives someone a home. A hammer provides a living so a family can eat. A hammer is a tool in every tool box and useful for many things that bring hope – a new bed, a deck so community can dine together, to hang a picture on a wall. You my love, bring peace after the work is done.”

    That is one of the most beautiful things i have ever heard from my Father God. I’ve always viewed myself as unlovable but a useful tool. I never would have thought that my Father could possibly find peace in my presence, God, the Lord of all, finds peace with me – i’m pleased because the truth is, i find great peace with Him – even when i’m acting like a hammer.

    Thank you Fluer.

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    1. That is such a beautiful picture, it makes so much sense to me too! In the book “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” by Peter Scazzero he says “True peacemakers love God, others, and themselves enough to disrupt false peace”.. your picture of a hammer is just perfect!! Speaking the truth isn’t easy, and breaking the pretend peace is really really hard!… but that is what a true peacemaker is, and you are not just a truth bearer, but a minister of love, you’re one PRECIOUS hammer, held firmly on the hip of the Lord. xxxx

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  2. Hi Fleur,
    This was completely out of my comfort zone but I really enjoyed doing it and had such a sense of peace at the time.
    The picture I drew of myself was a butterfly, I think it is to represent change, and that when we change through Jesus we become free like a butterfly. When I asked God to show me how he sees me I saw a flower lifting its face up to the heavens being the best it could be when Gods light was shining down on it. Then I had a sense that he was saying to me ” look to me my child in the same way the flowers do when I shine upon them. I do not require anything of them no nor do I of you, but to open up to me. You do hear me , believe what you hear is from me”
    Which is something that I hav been struggling to believe. Then something very special happened My daughter Anna came down the corridor she had stomped off to bed all grumpy about an hour previously, she first apologised and then asked me what I had been doing so I explained and got her to do the exercise too and then explained mine to her, we prayed that God would speak to her too about her drawing and share it with me in the morning.
    Thank you God so much for Fleur may she continue to be a blessing to all who encounter her.

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