This book was on the periphery of my book-detecting radar for a long time, but I’m not too quick to jump on book bandwagons. I tend to read what I like, holding best sellers list appearancess and glowing reviews in abeyance, at least until one of my favorite (and, admittedly, mostly similar in taste to mine) book bloggers reads it and gives it a thumbs up. However, I happened upon Joanna Weaver‘s Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World at my favorite used bookstore a little over a week ago, and something about it struck a cord with me, despite the fact that I had seen the title often enough to feel like I’d already read it. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this!)
I devoured the first several chapters right after I bought it, even making notes in the back of the book, while I sat outside the bookstore at the cafe next door and waited for a friend to arrive for a lunch date. It just resonated so much with where I was on that particular day–harried and stressed out to the max. The message that Joanna Weaver delivers is one the Lord has reminded me of (patiently, repeatedly) over the past year, and yet I am having a hard time learning it.
I wish I had had the time (!!!) just after I finished the book to write these reflections; much has already been lost, I’m afraid. However, the overall impression that has stayed with me in regards to this book is that God desires for us to have a “Mary heart,” but for most of us it is not something that will automatically happen. We must be willing to choose the “better part.” The choosing must be done daily. We must set aside whatever is more pressing–there will always be something–and spend time with Jesus every single day. Every day. It’s imperative.
I’m not telling you a whole lot about the book, am I? Well, let’s see. . .
I found this book to be surprisingly well written, even funny at times. I say surprisingly because some devotional books are cookie cutter-ish to me. This one has personality–I feel like I’ve gotten to know Joanna Weaver a bit through her writing. This book is also cram-jammed full of information. The author covers every appearance of Mary (Magdalene) in the New Testament as far as I know. She does a great job of showing the change in Mary, as well as how Mary was different from Martha (and, to Martha’s defense, how she also changed). The most surprising part of the book for me was the contrast she drew between Mary and Judas. In my 30+ years of church attendance, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone bring this out the way she does. Weaver also includes lots of “sidebar” information–extra information in boxes that relates to the text but isn’t a part of it. I usually find this distracting, even annoying at times. However, these addendum are good. I found myself reading these boxes, even underlining the information in them, instead of skipping them like I often do.
I’ve toyed with the idea of not even publishing this “review” because it’s so. . .nothing. However, I’m publishing it, if for no other reason than to remind myself that this is a book worth revisiting. It’s really that good. I know I’ll need reminding again in the future.