A few weeks ago, when Texas had their devastating freeze, I listened to a news story about all the people impacted by the loss of crops. The farmers suffered the most obvious loss. The consumers would feel it, without their leafy greens in the grocery store or on their dinner table. I hadn’t thought about the migrant workers who now had no crop to harvest, or the people who work in the processing plants where the produce would have been cleaned and packaged, and the truckers who would have transported it.
Unseen does not mean insignificant.
My Lenten reading brought me to Luke 22 — the story of the disciples getting the room ready for that last Passover meal.
So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?” He said to them, “Behold when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters and tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room…’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.”Luke 22:8-12
I followed Peter and John into the city where they met the man carrying a jar of water. I found myself wondering about that man. Why was he there? Was he sent there specifically to watch for Jesus’ followers? Or, was this one of his daily tasks, fetching water, and Jesus knew he would be there? Was he waiting? Or, as always, was God’s timing just so very perfect?
The master of the house had the room ready. What did he know? Did he always have that room ready for guests? Had God impressed something specific on his heart that morning? Or that week? Or, was it years before, so that he always had his guest room ready because, who knows, perhaps God would have need of it? Had he graciously let the room out to others who asked or had need? Had he grown weary of hospitality?Or was it his calling and he found it fulfilling even if he didn’t always receive the gratitude he may have been due?
Did Peter and John have to go to the market to purchase the bread and the wine that we know they had that night? Did the market vendors know the great purpose of the items they were selling?
Did the one who baked the bread know about the breaking of his bread by the One who was the Bread of Life? Could the vintner have possibly imagined that his wine would represent the blood of a New Covenant?
I mentally followed the people-trail in that story trying to see the unnamed and unseen people. They’re everywhere.
During this time of mask-wearing and isolation, I think many may feel unseen and insignificant. May I encourage you today to keep carrying your water. Keep your guest room ready. Keep baking bread and growing grapes.
And if your job has been taken from you because of weather or a pandemic or some other unforeseen circumstance, be faithful with whatever is put before you.
Keep doing those daily tasks that no one sees.
Because “no one” is a misnomer.
There is One who sees and values what you do. You may be serving Him in ways you cannot imagine.