One of the great things about being a minister is that folks love to share their bounty with you. From Ginny Pack’s pickles, to Sonny Dowell’s tea cakes & pecans to Ruby Kilcrease’s carrot cakes, to Chicken Que tickets from Bob Stewart. It is no wonder that I needed to go on a diet. Folks around here are generous in so many ways – I could never think to list and thank them all, and hope I didn’t embarrass those that I did mention!
This week some muscadines showed up on my desk. The problem is I don’t know who to thank. The benefactor was anonymous. And over the years, I have found myself the recipient of other anonymous gifts as well. Sometimes people do things and they don’t want the attention that goes with it.
If you look in the Bible you find hundreds of names. Names of prophets, disciples, kings, rulers, simple people and tyrants. But if you look close enough you find some anonymous folks too. We have no idea who those friends were who brought the sick man to Jesus – you know, the ones who broke through the roof to get him to Christ in Luke 5. Surely you would think that someone would have written down their names. But somehow they escaped notoriety. We know them by their love – by their actions – by their faith. But we have no idea what their names were.
And the list continues. We don’t know the name of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment in Mark 5 and we don’t know the name of the Centurion who had faith in Christ in Matthew 8. We don’t know the name of the woman at the well, or the names of the magi who visited Christ after His birth (even though there is a tradition who gives them names). We all know the story of the boy who gave his lunch to Jesus in the feeding of the multitudes, but we have no idea what his name was either. The next time you have your Bible handy, see if you can find some more anonymous folks.
My point is this – sometimes we are called to be anonymous. Sometimes we need to realize this simple fact: It isn’t about us. Sometimes God calls us to labor with no recognition. Sometimes He wants us to do things that will draw all the attention to Him and none of it to us. You see, if these folks had been named, they may have gotten some of the glory that belonged to Jesus. And I’m fairly certain that none of them would have wanted that.
So this week – think of ways that you can serve, give, express faith, help a friend, lend a hand, show your love for Christ – anonymously. Do something that only He will know you did. Do something for the simple fact that He will get the glory, praise & recognition. And the truth will be this – God will see it. He will notice and He will be ever so pleased that you didn’t want credit for it. (Matthew 6:3-4) So to the giver of the mysterious muscadines, I say thank you, and so does the Lord!