The other day my friend mentioned for about the 5th time that she was studying Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. I’ll humbly admit I hated the book. I should add two caveats: 1) I didn’t finish the book, and 2) I seriously am starting to think I love to be the opposition (far more than I ever wanted to admit!) Nonetheless, I really struggled with the book, in major part because I read it as though the author suggested that being a Martha, while certainly “okay,” was not as superior to being a Mary. I think it felt like another reminder that I was lesser: not a wife, not a mother, not a man, not a real professional, not not not… For some reason, labeling me the Martha in the room was a sign yet again that I was an outcast in whatever room I entered.
So when recently my friend was telling me about the book, my eyes admittedly rolled, and I honestly found myself wanting to re-read it (which is again, not normal for me). It made me realize, thanks maybe to the spirit of God grabbing hold of my heart and my mind, that I have a compulsion for comparison.
Was the book comparing Mary and Martha, or was I? Yes. Yes. Do I compare myself every freaking day of my life to any number of people, ideas and things? Sigh. Yes. Why am I? I think back to the days of Mary and Martha (ha, I’m writing that as though I once lived then!) and don’t think the mirror was there. Could I look at myself in the same light as others? Could I make up my own version of the truth about how I look, who I am, or how others perceive me with the support of video camera, mirrow and digital cameras, or will I, like most every other woman I know, continue to look at ourselves through someone else’s lens, expectations and desires.
Gosh darn it… that’s why I hated that book. I didn’t like it because it set Mary and Martha, not as equals. While the book certainly take things as extremely as I felt it did, I am certain that when I read it and still to do this day if I were to reread it (which I won’t, let’s be honest here), the idea that we look at two people and can see two women and compare them isn’t fair or proper theology. They are each individuals. They are each women. They are created in the image of God. And they both aren’t perfect. That’s where the lines stop for me. That’s where I want theology in the midst of popular culture to go. I don’t need idols. I don’t need someone else to measure up to.
I think I’m really pondering more and more that the idea of “being Jesus” does not at all mean picking characteristics identical to Jesus each responding to every situation as glibbly as the next. I mean, can you imagine if during a we all walked out in single file line and no one took charge, because all acted identical. Or we all were leaders. Both would still foster insanity. I really think its about figuring out how to take the personalities (the insane differences we all embody) and tempering them with the mind of Christ, not the characteristics of Christ. We interchange mind and character and I don’t think that’s fair… at all.
Am I totally off here? Am I a walking heresy? Probably. I just wonder if its a standard heresy, or a heresy for my time… haha, not that I think I’m some Martina Luther or something… eek, I did just write that ridiculous statement, didn’t I?