On The Road with Mary & Martha

Today was beautiful and officially Autumn Eve. I love the Pennsylvania fall pumpkin-spice-everything time. True, it was on the warmer side but still cool enough for this Texas girl to say it was fall-like weather.

All week long I’ve had the privilege of driving through the Pennsylvania countryside to get to work and it’s been lovely. Tall stalks of corn, mums adorning yards and porches, apple trees bursting with fruit, pumpkins peeking out from their viney little leaves, a swirly breeze of leaves as I drive and as I take a deep breath, fresh air with just a tad hint of cows… it’s almost like I’m starring in my own car commercial!

But as I wandered and meandered through those back roads, two people kept popping up in my head. Mary and Martha. The dynamic women duo!

There are several places you can read about Mary and not quite so much about Martha. If you haven’t heard about them and want to get the back story you can read Luke 7:36-50; Mark 14:1-11; and Luke 10: 38-42.

Mary had lived a sinful life, she liked expensive perfume and sitting at Jesus’s feet. She was for all intents and purposes what my Bible side notes calls a “be-er”. Now on the other hand, Martha, her sister, was a “do-er”. Martha was a server and gets reprimanded by Jesus for worrying and being upset about many things. Martha might have been a bit of a workaholic.

By now you may be wondering what in the world this has to do with road trips. Well, fast forward to John 11- 12. Mary and Martha send word to Jesus that their brother, Lazarus, is ill. Jesus doesn’t show up until four days later and Lazarus has died. Martha went out to meet Jesus, but Mary stayed at home. Martha says to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Martha comes back and tells Mary that Jesus is asking for her. Guess what she does? Mary goes out to meet Jesus in the same place that Martha did. Mary says, ”Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Finally, the shortest verse in the Bible,

Jesus wept.

As many times, as I have heard and read this; Jesus wept still gets to me. As I was wiping away a little tear sprouting from my eye something new popped out! Martha and Mary had the exact same response in the same exact spot on the same exact road.

Wondering, wandering.

Jesus where were you?

You know what? Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. John 11:5

I’ll be the first to admit I’m more of a Martha. I’m a “do-er”. I worry and get upset about many things I shouldn’t. I should probably take a lesson or two from Mary and just sit and “be” a little more, use the expensive perfume.

But whether a Mary or a Martha, a “do-er” or a “be-er”, a wonderer or wanderer, when life’s sorrows hit we are the same. I feel like I’ve concentrated too much on differences and not enough on similarities. When the truth is – wandering down this road of life there is a wondering when things go wrong, “Jesus where were you?”

Dear sister, we are more alike than we know. What if we hold hands, wander out to meet Jesus together and fully hear that Jesus loves us both just as we are, a “be-er” and a “do-er”.



Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Laura Rodgers
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  1. Rebecca Preston on November 10, 2017 at 8:29 AM

    One of my favorite stories. Had not seen it before from a wandering point of view! Thanks, Laura!

  2. Diane on November 12, 2017 at 4:53 PM

    “…and just sit and “be” a little more, use the expensive perfume.” That statement stopped me short as I was reading of your wonder and wander. Perhaps I have been most reluctant when I finally sit still to ‘be’ to uncork the best worldly thing I have and give it to God. Uncork the perfume. Thanks, Laura, for a refreshing perspective on a familiar story.

    • Gretchen Hanna on November 17, 2017 at 11:14 AM


  3. Gretchen Hanna on November 17, 2017 at 11:16 AM

    I tend to be a guilt-ridden Mary or Martha. Of my own making , naturally. I know I ‘should ‘be’ more. And yet, the commitments bear down. I when I’m a do-er, I accomplish, but yearn for time to be. Do I need God or what?! I am so grateful He meets me on that road and gently replaces the shame of the enemy with the convicted heart of the beloved. Balance, if there is such a thing, is found in Him alone. Thank you for this reminder, Laura.

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