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travelling light (daily devotions for your elective)

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Day 52: The Martha Syndrome

Luke 10: 41 - 42
The Martha Syndrome

The Martha syndrome is not described in any textbook and yet it is easily recognisable in our patients, our families and friends, and in ourselves. It has two diagnostic features - the need to be continually busy, and anxiety about getting everything done.

In the story of Martha and Mary we are reminded to get our priorities right. Jesus gently corrected Martha for her anxious concern over the practical, physical things of life, whereas Mary was content to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to what He was saying. Jesus Himself took time out from the demands of His ministry, to draw aside to be with God and to encourage His disciples to do the same. We need to ensure that we make time to just ‘be’, to sit with God and hear what He has to say to us, to hear things we cannot hear if we are always ‘doing’.

To be properly able to care for our patients, we need to care for ourselves. To show patience, reassurance, hope and confidence, and to equip our patients with the skills to go on with life - even in the face of illness and despair - we must ourselves be calm, unrushed, and attentive. We need to be able to emphasise by our lives the important features of health and wholeness - we need to show that we can relate to the Creator through Christ, even when the physical body is suffering.

God of peace, You taught that in returning and in rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength: by the power of Your Spirit lift us to Your presence, where we may be still and know that You are God.

May the peace of God my Father
Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm, to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.
Further Reading
Luke 10: 36 - 42
John 14: 25 - 27

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