Take Off Your Shoes… Hello Hump Day readers – do you have your shoes on right now? I suspect most of us do. For me, however, my shoes are off as I sit in front of my computer and share this devotion with you all. I’ve been on my feet almost all day so, ah-ha, it feels good to wiggle my toes!

I suspect we all know the story of Mary and Martha. The interesting lives of these two women have often set off a small cannon between people, mostly women since these were women. It was like Mary was the Jesus child, and Martha was the mouthy busy-body. None of that is true, and if we all would think about our lives, men or women, we are both Mary and Martha!

Claire McGarry is a writer for Guideposts and she sent me an “in-progress” devotion she was working on. We did a bit of work together on it and then I gave her thumbs up to keep it going to the finish. Here it is in Claire’s delightful words: “I met a lovely woman the other day. Debbi is the owner of a Christian retail store and spends long days doing all the work by herself. Thinking about all the tasks on her list, I asked if she were more like busy Martha or serene Mary, the sisters who visited with Jesus in the Gospel of Luke 10. Debbi said she’s definitely a Martha. Yet, the minute she goes home and takes off her shoes, she’s a Mary through and through. She may have to keep her shoes on for a few hours when she gets home, tackling whatever tasks are waiting for her there. But the minute she slips off whatever’s on her feet, she declares her tasks done and clicks over to a stance of Sabbath rest to be restored by Jesus.”

In Luke 10:39-42 [MSG] take another look at this Scripture that we all have known so well: “As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.” The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”

Now the concept of “taking off shoes for sacred space” changed my perspective of Mary and Martha. I thought, “do we have triggers that are like Debbi’s shoes?” Sounds crazy, yet I couldn’t help thinking that I was missing something from this beloved Scripture. Then it hit me, “sacred time” and how often do I embrace it, uh-well-uh—yep, you know what I mean.

Sacred time with Jesus is just that, sacred, precious—food for body, mind and soul. So what in our day do we equate with sacred time with Jesus? I’ll be honest, as I wrestled with this question plus the answers I needed on this subject. Our busyness gets crazy and we can barely rustle up that quick prayer in the morning and maybe one in the evening where it’s easy to fall asleep before we even say ‘Amen!’ Like Martha, when do we stop to put on our ‘Mary persona’ and sit at Jesus’ feet? For most of us, we continue the Martha whirlwind until we flop down on the couch for just enough time to get dinner ready.

Perhaps we need to take off our shoes—then we won’t run outside, because bare feet can get hurt from cold, heat, rocks, etc. And if we take off our shoes don’t we usually sit down to do that and breathe in and out for a few seconds? Here’s an idea: after we do that, tell the others in the home that we are taking some sacred time with Jesus and please don’t bother me. Maybe we could even say, “if you want a good dinner let me have time with Jesus.” That would get a good conversation going don’t you think?

We may not have both a morning and an evening sacred time with Jesus, but, just like God who rested on the 7th day of all the work in creating the world, we have to have rest at some time before we fall apart! So go ahead, experiment with your ‘shoes’ – consider taking them off because you are going to be on “sacred ground” for a face-to-face time with Jesus. No doubt, it will be life-changing for your body, soul, mind and heart! AMEN.