Careful and Troubled, by Rose Datoc Dall (various loose print sizes)
“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)
This image is inspired by the Lord’s compassion for Martha, to whom many women can relate. While typically most depictions focus on Mary’s choice of “that good part,” the Lord also has compassion for those who, like Martha, are busy, troubled and perhaps carry heavy burdens. Perhaps as a hostess, she felt troubled and flustered to serve the Master in her home. Perhaps as a women her feelings are compounded by a perceived breach of social propriety where women were not typically rabbinical students equal to men. Christ, as in many times in the scriptures, defies social taboos across race, gender and social castes. Here he gives both Martha and Mary permission as women to be disciples, like unto the men. He reminds her of what is most important, and essentially gives her permission to let go of tasks she perceives as important.