When it’s Time to be a Mary

The pain in my heart breaks through to my mind. The ball of pain rides every wave, pinging every emotion. I delete post after post. Nothing is right. Nothing I can say or write is right. The pressure in my chest tightens. Where is air?

Shelli, what is wrong with you?

I long for my grandmother. 

When life gets tough, when I want to cry … I want my grandmother. 

I can hear her laughter on the phone. I can see and feel and smell everything about her. White Shoulders. Her tiny Avon lipstick samples. Bengay. Pond’s cold cream.

She was my go-to person all my life. And my vision clouds over with tears. I want to sit in her lap and hear her say, “No matter how big you get, you’ll always be my baby.” 

But she’s in Heaven, and I’m here.

Father, I feel an incredible emptiness in my heart and head. Do you hear me? Do you understand? What can I do?

And I hear my Father say, “Shelli Ann, come sit with me.”

My knees cap the ground.

“You’ve been a Martha far too long, trying to avoid feeling. Staying busy to avoid feeling. It’s time for you to be a Mary. Come sit at my feet. Remain here. And feel. Cry. Want me. Long for me. Let me be your go-to person. I’m the only one who has ever filled that emptiness in your life, in your heart.”

My hands touch His knees, and my tears drip to His feet. I wipe the dampness on His feet with the only thing I possess–my hair. My focus returns to His face.

Don’t you see? You’re missing me. Come to me. See and feel everything about me. Because no matter how big you get, you’ll always be my baby.”


Do you become a Martha when you hurt? Do you stay busy to avoid feeling? Do you ever hear the Father’s reminder to become a Mary?

Dear Mary

One sitting at those precious feet
That will never be taken away
One complaining, “Tell her to help me”
But at Jesus’ feet you did stay.
You saw He raised your brother
Surely heard water turned to wine
You would saturate the feet of Jesus
There was no perfume too fine.
You sat at the feet of Jesus, Mary
The distractions weren’t a care
You poured the oil on His precious feet
And wiped them with your hair.
When a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor
You let Him graciously pick up the bill
When others would scold, He said, “Leave her alone”
And your house He did fragrantly fill.
Mary, Mary, you chose the best
As Jesus would lovingly side
Because you knew in your heart, Dear Mary
Jesus would always provide.
– by Shelli Littleton (copyright 2013)

Dear Martha

One sitting at those precious feet
Listening to Jesus sharing
One is steadily working
Accusing Him of not caring.
You saw He raised your brother
Surely heard water turned to wine
Saturate the feet of Jesus, Martha
Is there a perfume too fine?
Sit at the feet of Jesus, Martha
The distractions will be okay
Emulate Mary; do the best thing
“It will not be taken away.”
When giving a dinner in Jesus’ honor
Let Him graciously pick up the bill
Take off those shoes; recline with Him
And your house He will fragrantly fill.
“Martha, Martha, ‘Only one thing is needed,'”
Jesus would lovingly chide
Didn’t you know by now, Dear Martha
That Jesus would always provide?
– by Shelli Littleton (copyright 2013)

6 thoughts on “When it’s Time to be a Mary

  1. Wow, Shelli…you were so blessed to have a grandmother like that, and I am so sorry for your anguish.

    Interesting topic for me, as my situation has taken a definite turn for the worse. Or, worst! But I have duties still, and the message I get from the Almighty is that I'm expected to crack on; what I DO is important to Him.

    I'd elaborate, but am not well enough to think through this any more.



  2. Andrew, I was so blessed to have a grandmother like her. And I really cherished her. And I'm super blessed to call you friend, too. You crack on. Don't stop. And I know you won't if you have any say in the matter. Father God, give Andrew strength, weave a miracle through his body. In Jesus' name. Amen.


  3. Loved your pictures and description of your precious grandmother. Made me remember mine–even down to the Bengay and Pond's cold cream.

    And ohhh, yes, do I understand the need to stop being Martha, and let Him tell me it's okay to be Mary for a few minutes.

    Love you~~


  4. Beautiful and tender and so needed, Shelli. I tend to go to one extreme or the other when hurting–curling in a ball and crying out to Jesus or becoming a too-busy, self-reliant (and sometimes self-righteous) Martha. Lord, help us to be Marys!


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