Faithful Living: God sees our unsung heroes

You can’t live a perfect day without doing something

for someone who will never be able to repay you.

— John Wooden

This week my son walked in the house with graduation invitations in one hand, his cap and gown in the other. In a few short weeks we will grab our jackets and settle ourselves somewhere in the stands of the beautiful Wildcat Stadium. There we will watch the parade of seniors in purple take the walk that moves them a step closer to adulthood.

I began the organizational list. Included are tasks like making hotel reservations for visiting family and friends; planning an open house menu; ordering senior photos to slip into the invitations; adding plants to our flowerbeds; and purchasing thank you notes.

That last task has got me thinking the most. How can we possibly thank our community of family and friends who have helped us, in countless and frequently unseen ways, to raise this son of ours? How can we tell that baseball coach, who insisted Dan continue playing after getting hit with a pitch, that such a lesson has helped him keep at a task even if it hurts? How can we thank the elementary school teacher for teaching him to sing, “Island Down in Puget Sound” that produces a flood of delightful childhood memories each time it is sung? And what about the health careers teacher who has helped Dan conceive of a career that fits his personality and natural skills so beautifully it has launched him in a direction he had not envisioned just a few months ago?

Hundreds of plans have been made and things done for my son and kids here in Oak Harbor that have gone unnoticed and will undoubtedly be forgotten. They were done in the early mornings, before the rigors of the day began, by mothers and fathers who care. They were done across conference room tables and over coffee by parents who wanted good life experiences for their children and memories for themselves.

Kids were hugged and counseled. Fundraisers were organized. Phone calls were made. Plans came to life. Do the kids have a clue how much effort has been made on their behalf?

Certainly not. And a moments, when you are worn out, you’ve probably wondered if all you’ve done is appreciated or even noticed.

You’ll know when these same kids grow up and discover a deep, unflinching draw to serve their own children and communities. Most likely you will not live near enough or long enough to see all the great things your gifts will produce in their lifetimes. You must hold on to the understanding that not knowing the outcomes is the natural order of things.

But also know this: God sees it all. He notices. And in response He gives you a gift: Our children will have a place called home. Tucked into the trees. By the log-strewn shorelines. In a caring community on an island called Whidbey.

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