A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.
– Leopold Stokowski
Be still and know that I am God
The last few months life has been rather full, busy. Slowing down to be still, not so much. There is book writing, blog writing for 3 very different blogs, proposal writing, projects to make, a husband to spend time with and daily work. I long to do all of this and do it well. And yet there is a deep need to be still and spend that quiet time listening, sitting at the feet of Jesus. Lately there is this Mary/Martha whirlwind running through my mind and heart. I long, like Mary, to sit at the feet of Jesus listening to His word and yet I tend towards Martha, getting stuff done and longing for something more. I know there is always something to do and there is something needful. A different focus, a redirection.
Lent begins in 10 days. Over the last few years instead of giving something up I’ve taken something new on. This year, as I reflect, I will do a both/and. I will give something up and take something new on. The giving up will benefit the taking on. In my minds eye right now I can see how being still and taking that time to pray. I know the more I do the work of connecting with God the better I’m connected with myself and the better I’m connected with those I’m privileged to interact with.
And as I sit here and write the words Jesus speaks soften, mercy pours forth and while I’ve always heard Jesus scolding Martha for doing her work and praising Mary for listening – the voice changes. Martha is doing the work she was given to do, yes she would have appreciated and even longs for her sisters help however she’s supposed to do her work. However, it’s her work. Mary’s work is active listening; Martha’s work is more hands on. Jesus is not diminishing in any way the hands on work, he’s just called Mary to something different than he’s called Martha.
I can see it is once again time to claim the stillness, the active listening my heart needs so that the hands on work that I’m called to can get done.
As quilters it’s important to do our own work and leave the comparative thinking to someone…anyone…else. When we’re exploring the boundaries of our own work we’ll find greater contentment, we’ll appreciate the struggle, we’ll develop a deeper appreciation for the work of others. We’ll appreciate our own journey more deeply. I teach free motion machine quilting because I love it, but also because I struggled with it so hard for a long period of time until I learned what works for me. I will teach mini-piecing and paper piecing for the same reasons. This is part of my work.
Speaking of which…I’m off to do some of my work!