It was one of those days that you know is going to remain vividly alive in your memory for years and years to come. It was a day that should have been profoundly sad by the world's standards. It was a day to attend the funeral of one of my dearest friend's son. This 51-year-old man had committed suicide, leaving behind a wife and two teenage sons, and a large, shocked, grieving family. Through the slide show of pictures and the many amazing eulogies I soon discovered this was a Christian man with a big heart, surrounded by hundreds who deeply loved him. He left a note saying "Gambling destroyed my life." The enemy thought he had won.
But what struck me throughout the day was that no one wanted to leave. At the graveside, the pastor twice asked the people to go on and return to the church and enjoy a meal. Some left, but we five women who had come down to support and comfort our sister, just stayed. We stayed to keep our arms around her and her daughters. We stayed to prolong the moment where people fully realize their deep, abiding need for one another. We stayed to enter into that community of believers who do not need words to communicate, but just mingled tears and linked arms. We stayed to show the enemy that not even this could separate us from the love of our Messiah Yeshua, who wept at His own friend's grave, and then raised him to life. Martha was there at that graveside of her brother Lazarus - and as the day progressed, I realized I've become too much like her again!
We returned to the church and enjoyed a good meal and much uplifting conversation, but I kept looking at my watch. At this point all I could think of was my kitchen, left unattended since I cooked dinner for two friends on Thursday night. I had worked all day Friday, and then entered into the Sabbath Rest in the home of good friends. Now it was getting near sundown! The Sabbath would be over, and I desperately needed to get home and clean up a filthy kitchen, so that on Sunday I could record a radio broadcast for Israeli Radio, and finish the teachings and music I'm preparing for two soon-coming women's retreats. I became almost frantic thinking of all I really needed to do in the next 24 hours!
It was then that one of the women in our little group of five asked us all to come over to her home. Quickly I responded, "Oh, I'm sorry, but I must get home to clean my filthy kitchen!" I saw the disappointment cloud her eyes. I saw the trace of tears that inadvertently spilled out; but she graciously said, "Oh, well, that's okay." The four of us that rode down together got into the car. And then I heard His voice: "Martha, Martha! Get out of the kitchen! Come. Mary has chosen the better part." I ran over to Chris' car to tell her we would come to her home. The rest of the story is so precious I can barely find words to explain it. Going through a devastating family crisis, she was greatly in need of comfort and prayer. Now together the five of us went to battle in prayer for her family, and we prayed it through until we felt the victory in the Spirit. Then she served up the most tantalizingly delicious Asian soup we could ever imagine, and we sat in her 14th floor Denver apartment and fellowshipped together, watching the glorious, almost-full moon rise over the city.
I thought about my dirty kitchen and how foolish that had been. I am sitting here right now, writing this blog, thinking about my dirty kitchen, because it is still there! "Oh, Martha, Martha, forget the kitchen. The part Mary has chosen is to be with Me, spend time with Me, fellowship with Me, learn from Me, love on Me." Thank you for the reminder, Lord. We five women loved on You all day by loving on one another. The dirty dishes can wait.