One of the effects of our internet age is the chance to be noticed. We can post pictures and articles, thoughts and reflections that interact with hundreds of “friends” and are literally accessible to the world! On the one hand it is an incredible opportunity for the message of the Gospel to go forth and reach to places that might otherwise be neglected or unreachable. On the other hand we struggle with the notion of obscurity. I love the following question from my friend Matt Redman (not the singer) in his book, God of the Mundane:
So many pastors today, famous ones and otherwise, are asking young people and everyone else if they are willing to give it all and go overseas as a missionary. It’s not a bad question to ask. There is no question in my mind that this question needs to be out there. But they -- or someone -- also needs to ask, “Are you willing to be numbered among the nameless believers in history who lived in obscurity? Do you have the courage to be forgotten by everyone but God and the Heavenly Host? Are you willing to be found only by God as faithful right where you are? Are you willing to have no one write a book about you and what you did in the name of Christ? Are you willing to live and believe that -- in stark contrast to the world around you -- there is a God of the mundane?”
This is a call to the ordinary, everyday faithfulness of living present. This is a call to bringing cookies next door, working together to shovel snow, being faithful in our cubicle, in all things operating with honesty and integrity, weeping with those we love, and offering a word of grace when needed. It is almost always unnoticed (except by the recipient). It comes with little fanfare. And did you notice how Matt put it? — it takes courage.
So here’s to the mundane. Here is to being the hands and feet of Christ in the places he has put us. Where will we find the courage to live anonymously? Immanuel. God with us. Just as the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night accompanied the Israelites -- the manifestation of God’s presence during their wilderness days -- so we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who gives us the courage to be unnoticed by all, because we know He always sees us.