Saturday, February 28, 2009

Confession by Marcia Lee Laycock

Marcia is the winner of the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. Her devotionals go out each week to thousands via the internet.

Some time ago I heard that a friend had signed a book contract. I wish I could say I jumped for joy. I confess I didn’t. I confess I complained to God. You see, it seemed too easy for her. She didn’t have to jump through all the usual hoops. It seemed she hadn’t really paid her “dues” yet, but now was having a measure of success.

A while later I happened to read a little book called Lying Awake by Mark Salzman. There is a wonderful scene in the book when the main character is in the office of a young doctor. She perceives him as being rather cold and clinical and very very young. Then he asks her to remove her shoes, kneels down and takes a cotton swab and runs it across the sole of her foot. This is how the author explains what happened then - “She pictured the doctor kneeling before patients every day, holding their feet and listening to their complaints and struggling to cure their diseases. How could she have taken so long to welcome the Christ in him?”
I’d also been reading the familiar passage in the book of Luke, chapter 10, verses 38-41, where Martha complains to Jesus. “Why do I have to work so hard while my sister just sits at your feet?” (my paraphrase).

I read that passage and suddenly I saw my sin. I believe it was Martha’s sin too, her failure to welcome the Christ in her sister, her failure to truly see and know Him for who he was. I don’t believe Jesus rebuked her because he wanted her to stop the serving she was doing. I don’t believe he wanted her to be exactly like Mary. I believe he just wanted her to see him, really see Him.

It wasn’t what Martha was doing with her hands that was the problem. It was what she wasn’t doing with her heart and mind.
I have been guilty of this same sin. I’ve been too caught up in the work and failed to understand what it was really all about. I have failed to see the Christ in my midst, in the souls of other writers who follow where he leads, in the hearts of readers who cherish their words. I have failed to see Jesus when he was standing right in front of me.

The good news is that there is “now no condemnation…” (Romans 8:1). I can confess my sin and know that it is forgiven. I can start again on a new day, with a new understanding, a renewed awareness of His mercy and grace.
I can continue to learn how to “welcome the Christ.”


Nicole said...

I do not think there is a writer alive who has not had to confess this one, Marci. Good post.

Sheila Deeth said...

Thanks for the lesson you teach from that familiar insight.

Shannon said...

Oooh, I needed this one too! Thanks so much for the reminder!

CurtissAnn said...

I have often pondered the story of Martha's rebuke. I am grateful for this wise light shone on the story for me.