Mary or Martha. . . Becoming My Own Object Lesson!

My son’s room was a disaster area.

Stacks of magazines, motorcycle paraphernalia, and

a week’s worth of socks and underwear covered the floor.

He had one little bitty space on his huge desk that

wasn’t covered with paper or doodads or books.

The bed was disheveled and the window blinds were all catawampus.

How could a kid whose brain organized data to get straight As live in this chaos?

When he invited me in to talk, I hesitated at the doorway.

He was wearing a sad face and a T-shirt that read:





I sighed and went in.

I wondered how much a dumpster would cost as I pushed the clutter on his bed aside to make a spot to sit down.

See, I am not messy.

My spices are alphabetized.

My closet is color organized by sleeve length.

The coins in my car are heads up, facing the windshield.

I can tell you what’s going to be for dinner a week from Tuesday.

Being in his room makes my brain freeze and my hands twitch.

As I listened to his troubles, it was all I could do to

concentrate on the conversation.

When my wisdom was dispensed and his axis rebalanced,

I made my exit from his messy boy-cave.

Walking down the hall I grumbled to myself about the decade-lost battle with him over the disorderliness of his room.

I had just hit my grumblin’ stride when I experienced an unexpected check in my spirit.

I recognized that voice immediately.

It was God.

That’s how I feel in your heart, Robyn. You are so busy being tidy and organized that I can’t get find any space for us to talk.


My son’s bedroom was a mess,

but his heart was tender and compassionate.

My house was spotless,

but it took all my time and attention to keep it that way.

Which would you rather have?

A heart that welcomes God’s presence or a house that’s shipshape?

I’m sure it’s possible to have both, but when I have to choose, it’s going to be a heart that welcomes God’s presence.

Scripture refresher: “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42) 

Prayer: God, I know there is nothing wrong with a clean house, but you want so much more for me than that. Help me make a place for you in my heart to hear you, in my schedule to spend time with you, and in my day to glorify you. Amen.


  1. Marie on August 21, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Thought provoking post–thank you! And I want the T-shirt!

  2. Nadyne Parr on August 25, 2015 at 12:32 am

    Yep. Right there with ya, sister. Neatness is my go-to. And, as important as it is, it is a perfect way for me to avoid what matters.
    Thanks for this great reminder.

  3. Modesto Herring on September 3, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    They may have been well-to-do orphans who had the management of their own lives, since there is no mention of their parents. Moreover the eldest of the three, Martha, appeared to be in control of the household.

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