Today I'm thinking about listening. Notice I said I'm thinking about it. I'm not actually listening. I want to listen, but something in me resists, and today I don't seem to be strong enough to beat it back so I can hear.
My mind wants to chatter away. I think in story, and I talk to myself, too. I have whole, stimulating, intelligent conversations with me, and most of the time, I'm good company. But that's not listening. Not at all.
Most of my head is like Martha. I fluff and puff my cerebral pillows, straighten the pictures, vacuum the dirt off the floors of my brain. I try to clean up my thoughts real nice, so that Jesus won't think I'm a slob. To Martha me, that's what it's all about. Making the environment right for Jesus. Making sure He's given hospitality. I don't want the rugs to be dusty, or for there to be fingerprints on the walls. I don't want a pile of dirty dishes stinking, and attracting gnats. I just want things to be nice for Him, and what's wrong with that? We all need nice things don't we? We all need a clean place to live, so that Jesus won't condemn us when He comes.
And then there's Mary. Mary is like this tiny space in my spirit that just wants to sit at Jesus' feet and listen to him. My Mary spirit doesn't have an agenda. It knows that I can't clean up for the Master. Even those little roses my Martha head made out of radishes aren't that impressive to Jesus, though in fairness, He does appreciate the effort. It's just that Jesus knows what the Best is, and my Mary mind wants what is Best. Not a comparitive best, but an ABSOLUTE BEST. A there-is-no-other BEST. Oh, to be quiet. To sit at Jesus' feet. To hear.
Jesus said that Mary chose the BEST part. That's what I want. That best part. That space between the words God says to me, and my mental manipulation of those truths. He speaks, and I process. He says, and I accept or decline. I want that space before I think anything. Before I do anything. I want that wordless, wondrous place where there is just God and the purest essence of myself. So that my mind can't ruin things, again.
Let me be quiet, because You, God, are in that quiet. You are not in the clamour of my ability, or in my guilt for my inability. You are somewhere sacred and between the words, loving the me You made, while I am still, and silent, and smitten with Your love, listening for the silence of Your voice.
Thanks for that, Lord. Thanks with all my heart.