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Friday, February 13, 2015
Whitefish Mountain, Montana
Photo by Nelson Longenecker
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This week we have considered "Hidden Heroes", those who faithfully serve others with no desire of gaining attention or acclaim. On Monday we considered a family's faithful journey with a husband and father who had Alzheimer's Disease. Tuesday we considered a mother with two special needs children who has essentially devoted her adult life to their care. Wednesday we considered as "hidden heroes" grown children who honor their parents in loving and caring for them through the aging process till the very end. Yesterday we considered the suffering church and millions of our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in oppressive conditions.
Those Who Serve In Quiet Anonymity
"Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translated in Greek is called Dorcas); this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did. And it happened at that time that she fell sick and died; and when they had washed her body, they laid it in an upper room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, having heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him, imploring him, 'Do not delay in coming to us.' So Peter arose and went with them. When he arrived, they brought him into the upper room; and all the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing all the tunics and garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them. But Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed, and turning to the body, he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand and raised her up; and calling the [t]saints and widows, he presented her alive. It became known all over Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. And Peter stayed many days in Joppa with a tanner named Simon" (Acts 9:36-43).
Today in our final message in this series let us consider the many who serve in Quiet Anonymity.
Florence Bogdan is nearly 90 years old. Stephen, her late husband, served as a pastor in a neighboring community when we first began our ministry in the mid-seventies. They befriended us and were very encouraging. Florence is now essentially homebound and deals with painful chronic arthritis. Beside her chair sat a bag full of slippers she had knitted for a Ukrainian ministry that provides for the needs of children.
George is a friend of ours who is a supervisor in his company. One of the workers he supervises is an older Romanian immigrant who has been deaf most of his life due to a bout with Scarlet Fever as a child. George took it upon himself to learn sign language so he could better communicate with the worker, motivated in large part, by his desire to be a friend.
Bob is a friend who weekly prepares and preaches a message to nursing home residents, a segment of the population easily forgotten. But Bob prayerfully seeks God as he prepares each sermon and shares his Biblical messages each Sunday with the residents. He emails us a copy each week and we are always blessed by Bob's faithfulness.
Dean's commute took him through the city where he saw day workers at a bus stop on a cold winter morning waiting to go to work. The Lord prompted him to drop by with coffee to share. Soon he began making coffee at home before going to work and stopping at the bus stop with two carafes!
What do Florence, George, Bob and Dean have in common? They each serve in relative quiet anonymity. I am confident that there is no one else in the entire world but Brooksyne and I who know all four of these people, although there just might be a few readers who may recognize any one of them. And there are many millions just like them, including many you know and many of you!
The accumulative significance and impact of this vast army of quietly anonymous servants is overwhelming. As mean and ugly as our world can be can you imagine what it would be like with the many who act in kindness?
The early church had people like Florence, George, Bob and Dean though we know the names of very few. One notable exception is Tabitha who is more commonly known by her Greek name, Dorcas. An active part of the faith community in Joppa, she was characterized as a "woman who was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did." In verse 39 we read that she was a seamstress and blessed others by the garments she sewed for them.
You and I can think of those whose lives are characterized by their continuous kind and charitable acts toward others. We all know people like them regardless of where we live. There are many in the church like her. Little known and sadly, in too many cases receiving little acclamation or appreciation. But they are really the backbone of the church!
Be sure to let them know of their great value, to you personally and to the church, as they give of themselves heartily as unto the Lord. And if you are serving in quiet anonymity realize your service is never hidden from the Father.
Hidden heroes are not hidden from the Father.
Hidden heroes are His special sons and daughters.
He sees them singing in the rain, loving through the pain.
Heaven knows they always bring a smile to His face.
Hidden heroes are never hidden from the Father.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, keep our hearts open to those who are in need of a compassionate touch, a charitable act, or a kind word. Let it come naturally from our hearts that are in tune with the heart of Jesus. May I view others through the eyes of Christ, walking in His compassion and His benevolent ways. We thank you for the scores of people like Florence, George, Bob and Dean who have served you in local churches, throughout the community, in their neighborhoods, schools, and families, all through the church age. Amen.
Yesterday I heard a great report in one of our companies about an employee in another. Marlin had a new heating system installed and a service tech stopped by to explain the new "smart" thermostat. He shared what a pleasant tech he had in Nieve who courteously walked him through and explained how the new system worked.
This morning I was able to visit for few minutes with Nieve and share the good report with him. I also learned a little more about him since due to the nature of his service work we usually don't have much time to talk. (And today heating service techs are very busy due to the very cold blast of temps we are experiencing!)
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
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