One Good Thought: Hot Cross Buns

“Martha Martha, you are worried and troubled over so many things but just one is needed”
+St. Luke 10:41-42

As I watched flour waft out of the large industrial mixer and onto the kitchen floor, I questioned the wisdom of making 250 homemade hot cross buns for the church on Sunday morning. It had seemed like such a fun idea- making hot cross buns for the Sunday of the Cross- but there seemed to be flour everywhere. Flour coated part of the floor, the table, and my clothes, but there were still about 15 cups left to add the dough and I wasn’t sure how that could happen…would I end up rushing to the store to pick up cheap cookies?

I wiped away those pesky doubts and carried on. I felt peace in my heart and I had a help- a little group of BFF teen girls had come to my rescue.

Normally, I don’t interact much with these girls because they are the same age as my daughter who died several years ago and just the sight of them has driven me to private tears because of the why’s- why couldn’t my girl have gotten to be 14…. those kinds of painful thoughts that go nowhere and only make things worse….and sometimes it’s just kind of wordless grief moments that I feel sharp pangs of when I see these girls together in church.

Given my feelings about my helpers and the stress of making 250 homemade hot cross buns, it was a little surprising that I was giggling with them as we poked the huge mound of rising dough. The girls helped me knead in currants and spices. We admired the way the spices and dough mixed together and already looked delicious. After kneading, the girls cheerfully took little bits of dough and made round balls which later baked to perfection before other friends appeared miraculously to help me by piping on white icing.

Through making hot cross buns, God brought a little healing to my heart by giving me such sweet helpers. He also blessed them by giving them an opportunity to truly serve and feel connected to each other and their church community. The church itself was blessed with a Lenten treat and the smell and taste of homemade bread.

Many of us need to accomplish things, just like Martha, and it’s hard to make time to also be Mary, and sit at His feet, but we’re kind of called to do both most of the time. While making the buns I was busy, but there was a part of me that was prayerfully amazed that God was blessing me with the help of the very people in church I’m most afraid of and that I was OK with it. While we’re busy doing the things we must do, there can and should be an undercurrent of watchfulness, of prayer that flows along with us.

Get it done like Martha, but pray like Mary.

I don’t think I would’ve been as calm about my scary moments with making the dough or as comfortable with the girls except that this is Lent and the prayerfulness of the services is softening my heart and healing some of my grief.

Lent gives us as chance to sit at Jesus’ feet and be still -like Mary.

How have you experienced being like Martha and Mary this Lent?

Lord, help me to take the time to sit at Your feet and be still, like Mary. Help me to keep a river of peace flowing under the surface when I have to be busy like Martha, and to remember to be open to You in my heart whatever I’m doing.

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