Ha! You thought I was going to say, “Mary in a Martha World”, didn’t you? I chose not to for a couple reasons. First, there are probably more articles, blogs, and books, written with that title than I care to recount. Next, I don’t [literally] have the feet of Jesus to sit at and to listen voraciously as He shares His wisdom. Yes, I do have God’s word, the Bible, but that’s sort of my point with the title. I love God’s word. Let me say that again. I LOVE GOD’S WORD! And just like Yentl [from the film, not the book], I want to learn all I can about the word of God … with one big difference. I love the whole word of God, not just the Talmud. But just like Yentl’s desire to know God’s word, saying and doing are two different things. One is pretty easy … not so much the other.
Because of being past the prime for going to Bible school and/or seminary, getting answers to the many, many questions that I run up against is quite the task. My first rule of thumb in seeking knowledge is prayer. I always pray before getting into the word of God. God is quite clear that wisdom is a good thing and we must strive to ‘get it’. And He gives it abundantly! So of course seeking His wisdom is first and foremost. Next is actually being in the Word. It doesn’t take long before I’m up against a question and thus starts my search for answers. There’s the study Bible, commentaries, trusted theologians with sermons and resources online (Got to love the internet if for no other reason than THIS!). You would think with all of this available, finding answers would be an easy task. Not so! For every question, there’s either a multitude of possible answers OR no answers at all.
I’m often left with one recourse … finding someone I know and trust, educated and experienced in God’s word. Easy! Right? I wish I could say yes but sadly, that’s not the case. Oh, it’s not that I don’t know people, either in person or online, that aren’t top-notch scholars. They’re there, alright. For some odd reason though, they usually don’t want to answer my questions. Here are some of the conclusions I’ve come up with … purely from my own viewpoint.
· I’m a woman. Now I know that will rankle a few people but it seems to be the case. It’s almost like I can hear them say, “I’m a busy person. What would it serve me to take the time to answer this woman’s question? After all, I need to concentrate on making disciples.” The sad part about that [if it is so] is that I believe it’s just as important to disciple women as it is men. And no, I don’t wish to usurp authority over a man rather I do wish to ‘always be ready to make a defense to every one who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you…’ 1 Peter 3:15.
· Who am I? Many people who are scholars or theologians are online acquaintances. They’re from all over the world. I highly respect these individuals but, then again, so do many other people. They’re well known in their field and have numerous people that ‘follow’ or ‘friend’ them and I’m just one of thousands. Who am I, after all? They get their reputations from being solid, doctrinally sound, men of God. They can’t answer everyone’s questions, can they?
· Why? That’s a valid question. “Why does she even want to know?” Like Yentl in the movie, she loved the Word and was not content with just reading and moving on. There were questions and she needed to know the answers. Like Mary at the feet of Jesus, she too wanted to take in all the truth Jesus had to give. It was more important to her than anything going on around her. Those are the same emotions that course through my veins. To those who might just have the answer(s), this seems unimportant.
· I don’t have the time. Yes, that’s a conclusion that sadly seems to jump out at me. For each and every reply that I get (when I get one at all), it’s the equivalent of a polite pat-on-the-head, like a child, and encourage me to just ‘go out and play’. I guess no one really likes that child that is always asking why, why, why? I actually do understand this. If I ask one question, sure enough, there are 10 more in the wings.
So, what’s a person (woman) to do? Pray—doing that! Keep in the word of God—doing that! Keep asking—doing that, too! Don’t give up—one word comes to mind, AMEN! For now, this Mary … this Yentl … will remain steadfast in God’s word knowing that God is working out His purpose, seeing it on to completion. There are women out there, many younger and newer to the faith than I, and they need discipled. I pray that for all the knowledge I obtain, that God will be glorified through the sharing of the Gospel in an accurate account. And … may I always be prepared to give an account for the hope that is within me! Praise God, for He is worthy to be praised and glorified in all things.