Luke 10:41-42 – But the Lord said to her, My dear Martha, you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about… (NLT)
I don’t have a green thumb. I read an article that said plants can improve the air in the home, so two years ago in a surge of optimism I bought two. As I brought them into the house my husband asked, “What are those for?” to which I replied “I felt like killing something.”
Now, I’d like to be able to tell you that they are still improving the quality of air in my home, but that would be a lie. They’ve returned to the earth “from whence they came,” sad to say.
My father, on the other hand, can plant a toothpick and grow a tree. In his wisdom he suggested I buy a pineapple plant. He had several that were producing fruit and felt even I couldn’t kill those. I bought two.
I rationalized that the pineapple was the symbol of hospitality and I envisioned a “bumper crop” of luscious fruit at my front door. Who am I kidding? I was told I couldn’t kill it, and that was all I needed to hear!
I think of Mary and Martha and I’m afraid I identify with Martha way too often. I believe that Martha loved Jesus just as much as Mary and in her heart she was doing her work for Jesus.
I can just picture myself in her place: table set, plenty of sweet iced tea or water, a two-liter Pepsi in the ‘frige…just in case. I must have the perfect dessert, and they need to have a gift so I should make something to send home with them. The list goes on, but frankly I’m making myself tired just writing about it. All of that work when all her guest really wanted was her company. Martha was entertaining. Mary showed hospitality simply by welcoming their guests into their home and spending time with them.
How wonderful that the symbol for hospitality would be a plant not requiring a great fuss. So many times we confuse hospitality with entertaining.
To entertain is to impress someone while hospitality is from the heart. Often we as women think we have to have the right house, right food, right clothes, everything just perfect and we pass up an opportunity to share the joy of Jesus with someone.
Just like the pineapple plant, hospitality doesn’t require much fuss and work, only availability.
Father, help me remember that “doing” isn’t as important as “being.” Help me to practice hospitality and remember that it’s my heart that people want to see.