Bank Holiday Musings
On Monday I read a poem called “Cries” by Kathy Galloway, and a couple of lines in it made me think;
“…… the voice of Martha, taught to be a servant,
Challenged to choose for herself.”
Martha, taught by her culture, by tradition, by her religion, to be in the kitchen preparing the meals for everyone, serving all those who came to her home, but then challenged by Jesus to choose for herself, to maybe not conform to the mores of the time – Paul would go on to teach in Romans 12:2
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking” Jesus wanted her to think, to do something not because others expected it, or because she felt she ought to, which can make us feel really resentful or even bitter, but because she chose to.
But of course it’s hard to break away from cultural roles and expectations. Mary had, according to Jesus, “chosen what is better” by abandoning the pots and pans, and sitting with the disciples drinking in Jesus’ teaching, but I wonder what would have happened if Martha had done likewise? Would there have been pandemonium when tummies started rumbling a few hours on, indignation turning to loud condemnation at the behaviour of these women in neglecting their role as “servant” to the menfolk?
And what are the “oughts” and “shoulds” in our lives? What are the behaviours we are conditioned to, the voices that programme and drive us? Who have you been taught to be?
It’s your job to keep everyone happy
You’ve got to keep all the plates spinning in the air
Don’t depend on anyone but yourself
Porn doesn’t harm anyone
Blood is thicker than water
Women should wash the clothes
Men should take responsibility for the finances
It being Bank Holiday, Jo had done one or two little jobs in the garden, but with lovely morning sunshine, he’d decided to sit outside and enjoy a few more chapters of a most compelling Christian book called “Redeeming Love”. About midday, a lady about 10 years our senior phoned, and after a bit of chat, she asked what Jo was doing, and when I told her, she said in a shocked voice, “Hasn’t he got any work to do? I’ve been working really hard all morning” I wonder how free she was to choose how to spend her time and find balance in her life?