The Work that Goes [un]Noticed


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October 29  

It was an ordinary morning in the Hunt household. The kids and their grandma enjoyed watching early morning cartoons and gathering breakfast, as I scurried around between each room of our home gathering the clothes that the kids would need for their upcoming weekend visit to grandma’s house.  I zigzagged all over the house looking for the misplaced jackets and long-sleeve shirts that I knew the kids could not live without. I also picked up rooms, returned dishes to the sink, wiped up a lost banana off the floor.

On my way out the door, however, a stack of clothes on my newly cleaned counter caught my eye. Just as I was about to “eye-roll” them, my mom exclaimed from the other room, “Oh! I see that you packed a suitcase already. I will put those clothes away. I didn’t see that you had already gotten everything together for the kids.” “No one usually notices the work I do,” I thought, “not even my own mom!

As soon as my lamentation left my mind, I was immediately struck by the great irony in my thinking. How often did my mom run around the house in the mornings of my growing-up years, getting everything ready so that our family could begin their day “on the right foot.” How often did her efforts go un-noticed? How often, I wondered, has the work of God gone un-noticed? “A million times,” I thought, “and definitely too often by me.

Over the next few days as I pondered these thoughts, my mind rested on the image of Mary quietly going through her household—cooking dinner, cleaning up after her family, and hanging out the laundry to dry. Although her day-to-day household duties may have gone unnoticed by some of those whom she served, I am certain of one thing: the grace overflowing from Mary’s spiritual life never went unnoticed. And isn’t the spiritual work that we do the most important work, anyway? Praying for our families, teaching our children to pray, feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, and rendering to God his due; these are the things that I hope are always noticed by my family. I pray that my spiritual work will illuminate their spiritual journeys and draw them nearer to God.

So, mamas, let us not lament too much when the ordinary housework that we do in our homes goes unnoticed. Let us, instead, think of ways that the spiritual work we do and the extraordinary gifts that they offer to our domestic churches never fade into the background noise of our family’s busy lives. Let us nurture that work each day and relish in the glory of God’s work, just as Mary showed us the way in the midst of everyday life as a mom. For when we stop and give witness to the work of God, our children will do the same.

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