Sunday, 21 July 2013

Entertaining Angels

Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! - Hebrews 13:2

Monday was a good day.  I really felt all there.
The sort of day when I get time to wash and dry my hair.
I took out the recycling and I mopped the kitchen floor
I washed a load of laundry and I hung out a load more.
The children were all fed and washed, and clothed - before midday -
I thought, I’m ready now, if someone wants to come and stay.
I knew a guest would be impressed with my housekeeping flair,
I’ve heard I could be entertaining angels unaware.

I waited for an angel, but it really was a shame;
I wasted all that housework, ‘cause the angel never came.

This afternoon I’d had the kind of day I really hate.
I was still in my pyjamas and the kitchen was a state.
The children hadn’t slept, and they were acting really loopy,
and one of them had hit her brother with a plastic Snoopy;
The baby climbed the stairs unseen, and, though he never falls,
He did find all his sister’s pens - and used them on the walls.
I reached a pan from a high shelf, it fell down with a clang,
It landed on my foot, I swore - and THEN the doorbell rang!

I didn’t answer at the time, and later when I checked,
They’d given up and gone.  It was those angels, I expect.

Then later on, I thought about how Jesus was a guest,
He visited two sisters, his best friends, to have a rest.
While Mary sat and listened, Martha couldn’t find the time.
I wonder whether Martha had a day a bit like mine.
And I’m sure she wished that Mary would get up and do her bit,
But Mary knew that it was more important just to sit,
For Jesus loved to see them, and that’s why he came to stay,
and it was never very long before he had to go away.

Next time I’ll ask those angels to step over the debris,

I hope they will ignore the mess and spend some time with me.


  1. I wrote a whole comment, and Google scrapped it when I signed in - they should say, SIGN IN FIRST! beside "post a comment". Here goes, (without resentment? See further on...)

    Thanks for lovely poem. Did you write it? We had an excellent sermon on this gospel story today. The preacher (a woman - who esle?) poipnted out that Martha wasn't in trouble for doing her work, but for doing it full of resentment. She was doing the right hospitable thing, but doing it in a rage with the visitor and her sister. She referred to Brother Lawrence who taught us to do the dreary tasks as if for, or rather actually for, the Lord. She then said that Jesus is the host, we are invited to come to spend time with him... I wish I had her sermon to hand, since it was much more insightful and inslpring than I have described - but basically, there's no need to moan 'I am a Martha,I should be a Mary', since both work and contemplation are equally good and necessary, and approved: it's attitude which counts.

    1. Thanks, Mari. Yes, I write everything on this blog, unless otherwise acknowledged!

      Yes, that's a good interpretation. I wrote the above for a family service, so a somewhat simpler approach, though I did say similar things in the puppet sketch and talk that went with it!

  2. I love your poem, Amy! It really hits home in an amusing way. Most days are like the ill-prepared ones when we have little ones, aren't they? But we can still learn to be welcoming just as we are. I really struggled with that as a young mum as I wanted everything to be orderly at least, if not perfect. But age, infirmity, and inability to do my own housework have certainly lessened my standards and heightened my ability to cope with unexpected visitors without throwing an internal fit! Now I'm in a better place, (although by default) to be more Mary than Martha-like these days.