I Chose the Good Part

“I Chose the Good Part,” Ensign, August 2012, 71

I Chose the Good Part

Jeanette Mahaffey, Missouri, USA

As I prepared for my daughter’s wedding, my mind was so occupied with wedding plans that I rarely thought of anything besides my checklist. One morning I looked at my long list of tasks. I was making progress, but I still needed to do some deep cleaning. I had been putting off cleaning the kitchen blinds, so I decided to tackle that chore.

As I climbed on the counter with my rags, brushes, and cleaner, I could see that it was going to be a dirty job. While I worked, my mind wandered to the story of Martha and Mary, the sisters who had welcomed the Savior into their home. While Martha “was cumbered about much serving,” Mary “sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.” Martha asked Jesus to tell her sister to help with the chores, but the Savior told her that “Mary hath chosen that good part” (see Luke 10:38–42).

“Today I will just have to be Martha,” I thought. The truth was that I had been Martha for several weeks, “cumbered about” with mundane chores and wedding preparations.

My mind wandered again, and I tried to remember when my blinds had last been cleaned so thoroughly. I thought of the two girls who had come to help me get ready for a gathering at my house two years earlier. Together they had scrubbed my kitchen from floor to ceiling, including the blinds. That memory reminded me of their mother, an old friend I hadn’t talked to in years.

At that moment I picked up the phone and dialed her number to tell her about my daughter’s wedding. I didn’t expect her to answer because she taught school, but I happened to call during her planning hour. We spent the next hour laughing, crying, and sharing. She had recently been through a difficult divorce and had been feeling alone and abandoned. As we talked, our spirits were lifted and our hearts were comforted.

I marveled at the way the Lord was able to work through me even while I was doing something as mundane as cleaning blinds. I marveled even more at the truth that He knows and loves each of us enough to send help at the very hour and moment we need it.

That night I smiled as I put a check mark on my list next to “clean the kitchen blinds.” Though I felt a sense of satisfaction from completing the chore, I felt a greater sense of gratitude knowing I had been an instrument in the Lord’s hands. He had shown me how I could be a Mary who chose the “good part” even as I was a Martha “cumbered about” my chores.