Is it wrong or selfish to ask people to respond to your needs? Or to ask for their undivided attention when you need them? I can feel the disappointment in Martha’s voice loud and clear as I read the passage for this week. Her rabbi, teacher, and close friend was not present on the most difficult day of her life: the death of her brother Lazarus. She would have wanted for him to listen to a plea to come immediately and not let her brother die.

I think I would have done the same. I would have looked for an answer and felt that my words had to be said. It hurts when our needs are not met and instead of giving grace to others, we give rejection or silence. She spoke, and by speaking her true feelings, she found a better answer to what she was looking for: she found a miracle.

Proverbs 18:21 tells us that in the tongue we have the power to give life or death. Martha knew she could speak her true feelings and find peace in Jesus. Jesus spoke to give life, life eternal, and abundant to those who listened to his message. The Son of Man was late, but by his words of life, Lazarus rose.

Every day gives us the opportunity to give life or death to others as we speak. Life is not easy, it is complicated and we can, in the worst of our days, be like Martha looking for answers to understand. Yet, in the midst of that pain, we can find the miracle that is waiting behind that hurt.

Martha believed in Jesus, she believed he was the Son of Man, but deep inside her I believe she was doubting. Why did he not show up?  Why? He showed up late in her timing, but not in God’s timing. God was giving her, and us, the opportunity to understand that God’s timing is perfect. It shows us that even when we think there is nothing more possible, there will be an opportunity for God to give us a miracle.

The miracle of giving love, peace, and hope to others daily through our actions and words is what will make the kingdom of God present with us, so that others can see that even amid pain and despair we can find joy, the joy of a miracle. We know that because Jesus is always paying attention to our needs. He might show up late in our time, but never in God’s time.