Every time I have company over for dinner, they inevitably ask if they can help with the dishes. While it would be great to clean up the kitchen after the meal, I know I would much rather spend the time with them, chatting in the living room, lingering over a cup of coffee or tea and some good conversation.
Now I have to confess, I really dislike doing dishes so the offer of help is tempting, but the fact is, after cooking a special meal and playing the role of hostess, I really am ready to spend the time getting to know my guests better. The dishes will keep until later that evening or even tomorrow (gasp...)
Being in the ministry, my husband and I often entertain missionaries that come to speak at our church. They have so many wonderful stories to tell that a half hour of sharing at church with a few slides is never enough for me. I want to hear more about them and their families.
It is during this more intimate time of living room sharing following a meal of good old fashioned "comfort food" that the best stores come forth. That's most often when they reveal their real hearts - the fears, the stories they aren't at liberty to share publicly for a number of reasons.
Jesus knew the value of Living Room intimacy. It is within that small group of people where the masks can slip off and we can share our true feelings of inadequacy, fear and doubt. It is in the living room where hurts can be healed and our deepest needs of being "heard" and loved can be nurtured.
Maybe Martha wanted to stay in the kitchen to avoid that intimacy. Goodness knows, I used that excuse for many years, doing everything in the church to avoid building trusting relationships with fellow Christians and even with Jesus Himself.
But I'm glad He constantly seeks me out, drawing me away from the kitchen, inviting me to sit with Him and just rest in His presence. The dishes can wait - relationships with Jesus and others cannot!
This is the quote for today's "In Other Words." This week's hostess is Loni at Finding Joy in the Morning, so feel free to write your thoughts on the quote at your blog, then leave your blog address at Loni's for others to share