Lyrics: We Each Have Our Part, by David Fuentes

Mary & Martha                                                                                                               David Fuentes (b. 1959)

                                                                                                                                           Lyrics by Nikki Grimes


III. We Each Have Our Part


MARTHA:  He is here!


MARY: He is here!


MARTHA:  He must be starving

after the long day’s journey

and the constant press of the crowds.


MARY:  Do the disciples even understand

how blessed they are?


MARTHA:  Mary come!  Let us get

dinner on the table.


MARY:  I might dwell on the question,

but Martha’s voice is scratching at my ear.

I sigh, and follow her into the kitchen.


MARTHA:  Humming, hmmmm . . .

I choose the perfect dishes to fill

with cucumbers kissed with dill,

wild dates, and a tower of olives.


MARY:  I have no special culinary gifts,

but I can listen, listen, listen

tell me how many men or women

have mastered that?


MARTHA: I lift light loves from the oven,

Lay them on a serving board

for Mary to carry, for Mary to carry . . .


MARY:  In and out of the room

I flit like a ghost

In and out of the room,

then slowly lumber toward the kitchen

and away from the sweet sound

of the Lord’s teaching.

I wonder at the laughter rising from the room

where the men are gathered.


MARTHA:  Mary!  Ah, there you are . . .

Take these bowls in,

then come back for the cups.


MARY:  I nod, I nod,

and do as Martha requests.

I set the dishes on the table,

but linger at the Rabbi’s feet

for a moment or two.


MARTHA:  What next?

Ah, the pomegranetes.

Mary can help me press them for juice.

But where is she? Where? Where is she?

I bustle into the front room,

and find her folded on the floor

caught fast in the Lord’s web of words . . .


MARY:  I do feel somewhat guilty

for leaving Martha on her own,

but the Lord quickly defends my choice

to pour myself into his presence.


MARTHA:  I start to complain,

but the Lord will have none of it.

“Mary has chosen the best part,”

He tells me,

“And it will not be taken from her.”

Silenced by his soft rebuke,

I continue serving.


When I look at Mary,

her eyes are full of the Lord

and I wonder if perhaps, I too

should learn to be more present

more present when the Lord comes calling.

How else will I get to know his heart?


MARY:  There are many ways to

ways to be faithful,

Jesus understands this. But do I?

Martha loves the Lord and

shows it by the work,

the work of her hands.


BOTH:  Would it be so hard for

for me to serve alongside my sister more?

To be with her more?

Would it be so hard for

For me to learn alongside my sister more?

To learn with her more?


Dy, dy, dy, dy, dy, dy, dy . . .


Forgive me, Sister, forgive me.

I realize we each have our part.


MARY:  As disciple I will treasure his word

and learn to draw a map to heaven.


MARTHA: As servant, I will pack our bags

so we are ready for the journey.


BOTH:  Forgive me, Sister, forgive me.

We each have our part.  Forgive me.