The Mary & Martha In Me
by Ramona Furst
I am awake, ahead of the alarm clock. Do I sleep in or get up?
You don’t want to miss out on the good weather, you don’t have many more opportunities to enjoy this time away. Hurry! Hurry before you lose out.
Sunglasses slung around my neck on a band rise and fall off my chest as I begin my walk before the sun rises. Joggers passing by raise their hands to greet me.
Keep up your pace, don’t slow down, you want to make it count for something! Martha welcomed Jesus into her house one day. While she washed stacks of dirty dishes, her sister Mary sat on the floor and listened to Jesus. Will I be Mary or Martha today? (Luke 10: 38-42)
Brilliant orange red fills the horizon, it’s time to put my sunglasses on.
Is that my friend again? I see him so often when I’m walking?
Hurry, hurry, this is no time to talk. You’ve got to fill up this day and make the most of it while you can.
Do I slow down and smile? I’ll talk to him another day.
My friend turns to say hello; my stride reduces to a crawl.
“It’s fish and my love for fishing that once saved my life.” Beyond the sea wall and the white sandy beach, my friend points to fishermen pulling their nets out of the water and into their boats.
He’s got me hooked. I take off my glasses so I can see his face.
“My buddy and I were in a helicopter doing a mission when gunfire broke out. Suddenly the next thing I remember is waking up and finding myself under water with my buddy right beside me. I grabbed him and swam up for air.”
“Where were you?” I asked and all that he said was “I can’t tell you, but what I learned in ‘Nam’ saved our lives.”
“My buddy and I were cut up pretty bad, and both of us had broken bones. For thirty days we waited for help to come. Fighting off the snipers who knew we were alive. Once I got used to drinking dirty water I had to get used to catching and eating fish that swam around us. It’s all in your mind. I’d pretend that the fish were cooked and tasted good. Help finally came. The doctors said eating those fish is what saved our lives.
“Do you know the story of Jesus feeding the crowd with the loaves and two fishes?”
“Yes and I can tell you it’s because of Him that I am alive today. But I never agreed to go on any more reconnaissance missions by helicopter”. He smiled.
We all have a story that needs to be told. It’s in the remembering and in the telling that we are healed.
The Mary and Martha in me today worked as one.
Ramona resides in North Bay, Ontario. She has spent many years in Pastoral Care especially in Palliative Care and in Bereavement support groups. Ramona is a member of TWG (The Word Guild) and considers it an honour to be a part of the TWG prayer team. She divides her time water colouring (www.ramonafurst.com ) and writing and makes effort to enjoy God’s creation and each season throughout the year by hiking, kayaking, and cross country skiing.