Mary of Bethany

Love like Jesus in every moment

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John 11:28-36 says,

After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept.

Mary of Bethany, hurting, crying out to Jesus. 
He is late, they asked for his help and he has seemingly taken his time
A brother who is dead, a friend to many, a caretaker of the family, 
Gone when he could have been saved

Pain radiates from her person.
We read the words, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” in stoic calm voices
But what if…
What if we read it like she said it, “LORD, IF YOU HAD BEEN HERE, MY BROTHER WOULD NOT HAVE DIED”
Does that change the narrative?
Does that change how we see her and Jesus?

The anger, the hurt, the confusion that exists in these few words
Rethinking relationships, what does intimacy with Jesus look like?
In this case it looks real, brutal and honest
Mary needs comfort
Mary needs to know she is seen and heard 
Mary needs Jesus to do more than “fix it”
She needs a Savior who doesn’t jump to the easy part but is willing to sit in the hard

Jesus, a calm in the storm,
He handles her harsh accusation not with cruelty but with care
He knows He can “fix it,” but Mary needs more
Jesus is aware of the long game
Jesus is present in the good and the bad
He will pause, and He will join in the pain
Jesus, willing to weep with those who weep.

How can this influence our relationships? At the Yellow Door House we believe that we are called to be a reflection of the Jesus we see with Mary of Bethany. Willing to sit in the hard spaces. We know we are not able to fix all that is broken, but we can pause, listen, and seek to love like Jesus in every moment.

As we go through our week, let us ask God to show us opportunities to sit in the space between the painful experiences and the fix. Lord, let us see people in their pain and devastation and allow us the wisdom to know when to pause, listen and weep with those who weep. 

  • Nikki Taylor

    Nikki Taylor is an urban church planter and bi-vocational Pastor at the Yellow Door House, a community centric house church in Greensboro, NC. With over eight years of experience serving non-profits in the areas of Human Resources, Risk Management and Volunteer Coordinating she is committed to healthy hiring practices, trauma-informed human resource policies and volunteer/staff cultures that empower people to lead out of their gifting. She is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a degree in Non-Profit Business Administration. She is a 2023 Seeds Project Fellow.

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