Let’s see how many of the following questions you can answer or at least attempt to answer. Ready?
- Who found the Dead Sea Scrolls?
- Who refreshed the apostle Paul in that Roman dungeon as he wrote his last letter to Timothy?
- Who were the parents of the prophet Daniel? Surely parents who raised such an outstanding young man must have had names!
How are you doing so far? OK let’s try a couple more…
- Who was the wife of Charles Haddon Spurgeon?
- Who was Martin Luther‘s teacher of theology and inspiration of his New Testament translation?
Do you give? All right I will tell you who they are. they were a bunch of nobodies. That’s right. They were nobodies who worked behind the scenes and ultimately contributed huge chunks of church history; thus the not so noticed not being mistaken for the unnecessary. Although you and I may not know the names of the people asked about in the questions, it is quite obvious they were important factors in each of the posed questions. I think it is best described as Jim Elliot, a martyred messenger of the Gospel to Aucas put it…“a bunch of nobodies trying to exalt somebody”.
Over the years we as a church have heard teaching and preaching about how every part of the body is important likening The body of the Church to our physical bodies. When the little toe is hurt the whole body hurts. It makes perfect sense in reference to our physical bodies as evidenced when you stub your toe on a late-night trek to the fridge for a snack. However when it comes to the body of the church as in church family, it is possible for us to become sick with self-pity, jealousy, or even discouragement when we see a brother or sister in the Lord elevated, recognized, promoted, or even blessed. So if the physical body is hurt when a small part of it becomes injured, then it must be that the church body suffers as well when we harbor ill will, self-pity, jealousy, or discouragement. Let’s face it…The Head of the Body calls the shots. The Word of God points out it is his prerogative to publicize some and hide others.
If the Lord chooses you as one of those to be hidden like an Onesiphorus rather than a Paul, I say Beeeeeeee Haaaaaapy and thank the Lord! I Corinthians 12 verse 22 says – But instead, there is an absolute necessity for the parts of the body that are considered the weaker. Get this verse 24 tells us – Which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so adjusted the body giving greater honor and richer endowment to the inferior parts which lack apparent importance (Amplified version). Another version says it like this – some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary. So God has put the body together in such a way that extra honor and care are given to those parts that might otherwise seem less important. This scripture validates that the people who work behind the scenes are indeed important to the church body and to the work of the Lord.
While we don’t always make it to the top of the pecking order or the prime spot, we have nothing to hang our heads about as we work diligently behind the scenes where no one notices and our names are not a household word.
I am of the opinion that these folks are truly working for the church and for the cause of our Lord without obvious exaltation. Working behind the scenes simply means pushing the church forward whether it be in preparing meals for the sick, spending the night in prayer, visiting the sick in the hospitals, teaching a Bible study, painting a prop for a play, tidying up the church restrooms or simply raising and grooming another generation for the work of the Lord. There are so many ways to be useful in building His Kingdom and not our own. The next time you’re tempted to feel slighted or discouraged because you are not in the spotlight, try lifting someone else up, promoting and preferring a brother or sister in an endeavor and just give God praise and glory for providing greater honor and richer endowment for your usefulness to Him in whatever way He deems.
In 1980 I met a young college student while working in a local hospital. She was six years my junior but we became fast friends. We shared similar wit and sense of humor and we both had a love for God.
I was privileged and blessed to call her best friend for approximately thirty-six years. During this time we prayed together, laughed, and cried together and we even dated roommates who eventually became our husbands. She and I bore our children within a month or so of each other, raised our children as almost next to kin, and watched them become young adults both esteeming each of the others as our own.
Because of the obvious closeness, we shared I feel more than contribute to the honor of this great woman of God whom I observed first hand being called to the frontline as a Minister’s wife, and servant of the Lord many times working behind the scenes.
Something that has always stood out over the years was on one Easter while pastoring in a rural church where the church people didn’t have much, she began sewing dresses for all of the young girls one Easter. Those children were so beautiful on that Easter Sunday. I was there. I remember her giving selflessly to the cause of others and ditching any recognition or glamour associated with her position in the church. My best friend was truly a worker in His kingdom.
So about me… well I am just a mom, grandmother and a wife. I have successfully kept my marriage together and raised two God-fearing children who still show up with their families for dinner about once a week. However, up next to this lady my bio pales significantly. Enough said!
After her passing I found myself quite lost and undone until one day I picked myself, dusted myself off, and realized that I had been given the gift of a lifelong best friend with whom I still share a closeness with her family. What more could I have asked for in this journey called life?
Submitted in Honor of the legacy of Kathleen Wilson.
Thanks to my sweet friend, Katelyn Beth Wilson for inviting me to share in this blog.
Linda T. Rausch
A Believer in Signs, Wonders, and Miracles