The words of the title of this blog stopped me right in my tracks this afternoon. I oftentimes ask God to speak to me when it seems as though His voice has been distant. Today, those words were louder and clearer than anything I’ve heard in a while.
Let me first give some background–I fully believe that Haitians have blood that flows with the characteristic of “servant”. And I am not talking about the context of being made, forced, or even asked to do a service. I am talking about a humbling character that finds extravagant joy in doing things for others out of complete generosity. My explanation of that will never quite do the justice deserved, but it is an attempt at best.
Keeping that in the back of your mind I’m now going to set the scene of earlier this afternoon–One of my Haitian friends and coworkers was at my house for a day of rest and rejuvenation (i.e. watching movies, listening to music, etc.) that quickly turned into a day of her completely helping me finish moving into a new apartment and gut cleaning the whole place. (She’s actually mopping the floor to top everything off and wrap it up as I try to put this all into words, her not yet knowing the way she was used today to encourage me)
I’m not sure if it’s because it’s a Sunday afternoon or I stayed up too late last night, but packing-unpacking-organizing-and cleaning wore me out, and when I finished with what I was working on, I realized that she was still working just as diligently as when she first began. As she was doing some work in the kitchen, I asked her what she wanted me to do to help, realizing that she had a specific system of cleaning and I did not want to disrupt, but rather help alongside her. Her response was, at first, not surprising at all (after knowing how giving and helpful she is) but as I heard and swallowed what she said, I realized that it was for more than just letting me know she wanted to do something kind for me. It was for what the Lord has been trying to teach me but that I have been slow to listen and act in obedience. Her response was this, “I want you to sit..”
As soon as those words began processing through my mind, I instantly began jogging through the countless times over the past few months (and to be honest, maybe even this whole year in Haiti) where I was being told to just sit. In the times of doubt..the times of frustration..the times of fear..the times of confusion..even in the times of excitement..I’ve been told “I want you to sit..” and either didn’t know it or didn’t take it seriously. I can’t even accurately depict the times that has probably occurred, and yet the most subtle command from one of my sweetest friends here said it and it instantly clicked.
It immediately reminded me of Jesus’s time with Mary and Martha as told in Luke. Martha (who I can unfortunately say I, 99 times out of 100, am walking in her same shoes) was concerned about Mary just sitting while she was running around doing all of the work. Jesus’s words to Martha were, “but few things are needed- or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.”Martha chose to do do do-go go go. Mary chose to sit. She chose what was better. By choosing to sit, Mary was choosing Jesus, understanding that the things Martha was running around to do were of no importance compared to just being with Jesus and knowing him better.
Many times throughout my days, I don’t choose to sit, and instead get “distracted by preparations that are needed to be made” as Martha was doing. BUT-I’m so thankful that on an ordinary Sunday afternoon, simple words spoken by my friend breathed a new spark in my heart that reminded me the importance of just sitting.