Gleanings – Tell Her to Help Me Jesus

Luke 10:25-28, 38-42

“Tell her to help me.”

Gospel requires us to hold “being” and “doing” in tension. For surely if we are to “be” followers of Jesus, the Holy Spirit will transform us that we might “do” the things Jesus does. Simply put, there is “doing” in the “being.” Being hospitable as Jesus is, requires that we clean the house and prepare a meal. I can’t be present for the sick and imprisoned without going to where the sick and imprisoned are. Again, there is “doing” in the “being.”

Having said that, there is an order to the being and doing. Doing emanates from sitting at the feet of Jesus. One can’t be a follower of Jesus without knowing Jesus. Jumping into doing without being first is fraught with danger.

I have not read it yet, but there is a book entitled “When Helping Hurts.” The title says much. We often want to help and are rightly motivated by a Lord who came not to be served but to serve and give his life a ransom for many. But sometimes our help is crafted without a full understanding of the problem. Sometimes in our zeal our help does not reflect the sensitivity Jesus might apply to the situation. We assume we understand and in our presumption we offend and can make matters worse, creating dependency where independence was the desired outcome.

Spending time in Rwanda has opened my eyes to a reality that education and enterprise will not address. The lack of potable water governs the lives of the vast majority of the third world poor. Daily, and sometime several times a day, women load their children onto their backs and put five gallon containers in each hand and set out in search of potable water. They then haul it home. What time is not spent searching for clean water and then hauling it home is spent dealing with the physical/health challenges associated with not having it. The poor cannot avail themselves of educational opportunities or engage in profitable economic activity until the basic necessities of life have been addressed. Water, potable water, is central to any solution. I missed that.

Martha is not being discouraged. She is being reminded to begin where Mary begins.  If she had, she would not be anxious and not remotely put out that Mary wasn’t helping. She would serve for the joy of serving and without any expectation that others must serve likewise. She would “do” with the love and sensitivity of Jesus.

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