I’ve been reading this book called Weird. Its premise is that there’s a God kind of weird, like loving your enemies, and not working till you drop. Did you know that Martha’s problem in the Mary and Martha story was not that she was cleaning up and cooking her best for Jesus, but that she was ticked off at Mary enough to whine to Jesus to make Mary help.
Principle One: Don’t plan stuff you can’t pull off and then get your undies in a bunch because your designated helper won’t help.
Principle Two: Sit your butt down and spend some time with the Creator of the universe. He doesn’t need cherries jubilee for desert or no dust on the door frames, he needs a living relationship with you. (Jane, are you listening?)
There were these two ladies, Hattie Mae and Bessie Leona, and they were God-fearing, church-going, tough-love mothering daughters of the King of kings. Happened that though they went to the same church, Hattie Mae lived on the heights where the street lights were all still on at night and Bessie Leona lived in the bottoms where you better take a flashlight if the sun had gone down. And then,
The church decided to have a blow-out Memorial Day picnic and invite anybody who wanted to come. Hattie Mae was in her element. She had the gifts of hospitality, generosity, kindness, wisdom, self-control, teaching, preaching and faith. She volunteered to chair the picnic committee while in the process of listing the people whom she could delegate things to.
Bessie Leona thought the picnic might lead some folks to Jesus, so she sat down and talked it over with Him. It went something like this: “Lord, You know we’re planning a big picnic. Do You think that’s a good idea?”
“Anything’s a good idea, Bessie. You just need to make the Gospel the center, and don’t let the picnic get ahead of the people.”
“Well, how should I help?”
“You are good at making people feel comfortable, why don’t you serve food or go among the tables visiting?”
“Oh yes, I would love going among the tables visiting. I’ll do that.”
“Have a good time, then. I love you.”
“I love you, too, Lord. Thank you.”
“Don’t mention it. It’s how I roll.”
So Bessie went about her wifing and mothering until Hattie came over.
Hattie Mae looked a little worried about sitting on Bessie’s worn couch, but she started right in. “Bessie, I came today because I want you to chair the location committee for the Memorial Day Picnic.”
“Oh, I’d like to, Hattie, but Jesus thinks I should go among the tables visiting. I don’t want to get distracted.”
“Is that so? Jesus is talking to you, is He?”
“Yes, isn’t He talking to you?”
“Bessie, are you getting enough sleep?”
“I think so. Are you asking Him about these people you’re having chair the committees?”
Hattie twisted the hem of her blouse between her thumb and first finger. “There are things God just expects you to put on your big girl panties and do. I can figure out committee chairs on my own. I save talking to Jesus for the big deal stuff.”
“I don’t think so.”
Hattie’s voice got louder. “Well, He sure was too busy when I asked him not to let my mother die. I had just had her first grandson, and she never even got to see him.”
Bessie breathed in. She hadn’t known Hattie then.
“I’m so sorry, Hattie. These hard things seem so senseless.”
“You have not because you ask not, my foot.”
“You asked and asked, I imagine.”
“And He said no. He said no, Bessie.”
“You probably don’t even ask him about big things anymore, I imagine. You stopped asking and started working instead.”
“How long has it been since that happened?”
“Can you tell why he said no?”
“Jesus did answer you. He said no. Can you tell why yet?”
“She was real sick. I guess if she had lived she would have been one of those people who can’t get around and don’t know who anyone is. I guess.” Hattie looked down at her lap for a long time. “Maybe He was being kind, and I just didn’t realize it because I wanted so much for her to meet my Sam.”
“Maybe. Would you like some coffee or tea?”
“I would, coffee please.”
When Bessie returned with the coffee, Hattie was looking out the window. “How long have you lived here?”
“All my life.” Bessie handed her the coffee and sat next to her on the couch.
“Are you happy?”
“I am. I think it doesn’t really matter where you live.”
“What am I going to do about the location if you don’t chair the committee?”
“Why don’t we ask Jesus?”
“I guess it’s time I apologize for snubbing Him all these years, too.”
They bowed their heads together and Jesus wept.