In my personal study of the scriptures, I’ve often pondered why my soul sometimes feels so empty. I often wonder why I sometimes feel so unchanged, even after years of diligent effort to offer God my broken heart and contrite spirit.
I found in the scriptures the story of someone who is a lot like me: someone who wants to make Jesus the most important part of their lives, but who is easily distracted by many important things; someone with the desire to do everything, and do it well, for those they love.
Realizing that Martha and I are in this way the same, I rewrote scripture in my own words. In attempting to understand her, I attempted to better understand myself. It is my hope that any who see themselves in her will feel understood and find increased power to put the Savior above the many other important things in their lives.
And Jesus went, and entered into a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
And Martha knew her Savior, and loved Him, and desired with all her heart to be a profitable servant. Therefore, so that her Master might not want for anything, she prepared much to be ready to receive Him, and all those that came with Him, that they might take rest under her roof.
And she came and went all the day long, and spared no effort to serve her Master. When He came, she stood ready, and labored much to minister to Him and His disciples.
And Martha had a sister, called Mary, who sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
And Martha’s soul hungered also for the words of her Master, but her guests were many and laborers few. When she came away with hopes to sit at her Master’s feet, another call was raised and another voice cried out. So Martha came and went, her feet hurting, her arms aching, her heart grieving. Her spirit began to sink, while her sister sat at the feet of her Master, and heard His word.
And Martha came before her Savior and said, “Lord, carest Thou not? My sister hath left me to serve alone. Bid her therefore that she help me, for I am tired. I have labored much to prepare to receive Thee into my home, that Thou and Thy disciples may be cared for. And even now, all the evening long I have been cumbered about serving much, while my sister receives the pleasing word of God as the fruit of my labors. Please Lord, bid her therefore that she help me.”
And Jesus answered and said unto her, “Martha, dear Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things, but one thing is needful. Mary hath chosen that good part, and it shall not be taken away from her.
“Come, therefore, and partake also.”
And Martha heard the voices and the laughter all around her, and saw the needs of her house, which were many. Nevertheless, Martha went to her Savior, and sat at His feet, and heard His word. For many things were important, but one only was needful; and she chose that good part, and it was not taken away from her.