I have had the occasion to speak or share things fairly often as of late, and people are very kind…. encouraging me in my words whether it be written or spoken to a group. At times I have been self-conscious about this, although I am becoming more confident and joyful in communication.
It is not always easy “being seen”, and listened to, and I enjoy times when I am just the listener. Being “up front” causes one to pay attention to words and detail, and as a woman, even dress! I was quite amused this week to hear of a male mayor who wore the same suit to work for 15 months, without anyone noticing! A woman would never get away with that!! 🙂
And there are times when I am distracted by silly things… like yesterday, I realized I had forgotten to put in my earrings, and have wished at times for better hair days! But mostly I pray… let me NOT be a distraction… from the real message, from the encouragement.
I thought of these things because of a conversation I had with someone I love… who wondered how I did it… and as I heard the admiration, there was also this sense that she could not. And I knew instinctively that we both had been called to different things. Important things, just different.
I recognized again as I thought about it, that we are all equal… I know this well, but it has to be said, again and again. We all have roles to play, we all are part of the body, we all have contributions to make. All of us. Some of it is seen, and much of it is hidden.
And do we honour those whom we don’t see?
I thought of that today, after church, coffee cups quietly being picked up and taken to the kitchen, washed and put in their rightful place. And someone had cleaned the toilets… again.
Mothers… mothers of young ones, wiping noses, kissing owies, cooking meal after meal – and cleaning up, often with ungratefulness, sleepless nights and you just keep loving… And not just mothers… there are caregivers to many, quietly, day after day, caring for the needs of those dependent on them.
Nurses and hospital staff, and I see the cheerful cleaning staff, cleaning the same rooms, over and over, so we can have a healthy environment. Yes, it is a job, but I applaud their care to expelling germs. So much of what goes on in a hospital is unseen, carefully presided over by careful eyes… the pathologist who reads the reports, the x-ray technicians, the lab technicians who take blood and urine, and these are the most critical reports to doctors who make diagnosis.
I think of those who collect our garbage, and sort our recyclables, the many that serve us in restaurants and coffee shops, the paper person who faithfully delivers the paper I love to read, often in the dark and inclement weather. Thank you.
I think of seniors, our growing population, often feeling forgotten and unappreciated. I think of how much they contribute to our society, I see them volunteering every day. Our community could not keep going without them. And as they grow even older, their sweet smiles, their quiet prayers, their generous contributions, their encouragement needs to be valued, for all they have given to us, and continue to give to us.
There is something in most of us which longs to be noticed and appreciated. A mentor of mine once said that there are visible people and invisible people. Some of us will like this role, preferring to be seen… or unseen. Others not so much. Sometimes it is a choice, and sometimes it is not.
Somethings should remain unseen. I think of Jesus talking about those who pray… and he talked about the Pharisee who loudly prayed his prayer so all could see him. This obviously was NOT a good example of how we should live. No, we are encouraged to pray in secret, and there are somethings God only knows, about how we live, or act or think, when no one else is watching.
And yet, some are called to live some of their lives more publicly. Some don’t do this well and our news is filled with examples of famous faces who make a name for themselves… either negatively or positively. I admire those who are famous who hold on to their integrity, who lead with dignity. Thankfully most of us will not ever have to live with such scrutiny.
There will always be those who lead, who are more seen. I am drawn to those who have servant hearts, who lead by example, who are humble-in-heart. And I have such great appreciation for all who serve, often in quiet ways, because the world would not revolve without them!!
This blog is really a thank you to all who serve and give of themselves… especially those who might feel unseen. I want to notice, to say thank you, to be grateful for how we all play a part in a community that is much larger than ourselves.