To the Unsung Heroes

Seems like everywhere I turn lately I've noticed some of "the unsung heroes". Folks that serve us all without fanfare or even notice.  Folks that we might even take for granted.  Unless they quit.  Folks that I've never heard complain but I wonder if they ever feel unappreciated. 

Here's some of the folks that caught my attention.....

  One day it was some church nursery workers that have been cheerfully singing lullabies to generations of babies.  I'm sure some Mommies thank them when they retrieve their little cherubs but mostly this is an inconspicuous labor of love. 

One day it was the guys that collect my garbage early every Tuesday morning.  Occasionally I'm out at the end of my driveway when they come, sometimes with a treat but often not.  And I've never overheard any complaining about their role - usually some friendly laughter and always a polite greeting.  I hope lots of people tell them "thank you".

Another day it was an Army wife with a toddler.  Her husband has been deployed most of the baby's life (for the third time since they've been married, I think she said) and their families are on the other side of the country.  She was not inclined in the least to feel sorry for herself but she did say she was hoping the Moms in the preschool music class would turn out to be a good source of friends.  When I thanked her for her sacrifice, she was genuinely surprised.  Strong woman.  I think I'd cry a lot if I were in her shoes.

I get to watch up close some longtime heroes.  Some folks in their twilight times where it's easy to question one's  "worth" and "contribution" and wonder how much they still matter.  I think it'd be awfully hard to keep a great attitude when you feel worn out.

One really talented gal I know is sometimes tempted to feel washed up or overlooked or insignificant.  She's experienced remarks that imply she's "past her prime" and that it's time for someone else to take that ministry role.  Good thing those views have not been expressed in my presence - I have some awfully strong opinions about that.  So far I've not read anything in Scripture that indicates God tells us to retire from serving Him at some certain age.....

There's a whole group of women I know that have to be some of the greatest of all unsung heroes - single Moms.  I cannot fathom how they manage.  I'm so glad my church intentionally celebrates them on Mother's Day.  Most 6 year olds can't pull off flowers and candy on their own.  And for the record, the single Moms I know do it with a smile and a brave spirit.  I am so proud to know them.  I just want them to know.

And then there's all the zillions of regular ole' ordinary folks that don't stand out.  That don't get applauded or even noticed cause they're just living their lives, just serving and loving and doing things that don't bring any attention from the world.  College students trying to live right and to grow up into responsible adults.  Moms and Dads that so want to do everything just right and still make a living and pay taxes and enjoy dinner & a movie once in a while.  Single adults that sometimes feel like they don't have a place but deeply longing to.  Church staff that don't get the "perks" of attention but just the occasional headache of serving smelly sheep.  Pastors' families that have to share their dad with all of us and also have to endure too many "perks" of attention. 

These folks are dear to me.  And even more so, to God.  The world may rarely, if ever, take note of what they do.  Of their service and their faithfulness and their courage.  But He does.  And He has a significant word for them:

 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do  (Hebrews 6:10)

And He not only notices, He applauds.  To all the unsung heroes out there, listen.... I'm singing your praises to Him.