Behind the scenes. Out of the limelight. In the shadows. These phrases give the idea of someone with a less critical role to play. It is someone who doesn’t have to face the scrutiny of a publically viewed life. In the world of entertainment, these people are paid less, receive little recognition, and, compared to the celebrity, are considered dispensable.
In a society where God’s Word defines a person’s value, the backstage is filled with a cast of characters that are indispensable to accomplishing His work in the world. At G.O.D. there is a particular group of people who humbly serve behind the scenes quite often, namely, mothers of young children. For most of the mothers here, raising their children is a priority but not one that exempts them from doing what they can to serve widows, elderly, at-risk youth, and those who are sick.
Each week, Kendice Hartnell and Nadia Wolfe, with their babies and toddlers, cook meals for those in our neighborhood who have special needs, whether physically infirmed or aged. “I am so thankful for this opportunity,” said Nadia, “because with young children I didn’t know how I would be able to serve.” This is an oft-heard testimony as mothers have served by watching one another’s children so that one of them can teach a class at the Academy for GOD, tutor neighborhood youth, or do administrative work for the ministry. In doing this, these mothers model to their children the value of serving God in whatever capacity they can.
Ministering to one another goes beyond enabling a mother to serve others outside of the home. Women take on the extra responsibility of cleaning, cooking or childcare for mothers who need help because of sickness or special circumstances. Recently, when a mother of three pre school-aged children spent days on end going back and forth to the hospital and doctor’s office with her newborn baby, her house was cleaned, her other children had playdates arranged, and meals were delivered to her home. Not one but several moms worked together to meet this need. They understand that the how they serve may change depending on their season in life, but the commitment to serve remains a constant.
As a husband and father travels to a 3rd world country where he is particularly equipped to meet needs (farming, construction, well-digging, and teaching), he is supported by a wife who understands that ‘staying home with the children’ is not a lesser service but one that enables her husband to do the work he does without anxiety. Likewise, when a mom is out of the country serving other young mothers and children, she is comforted with the knowledge that her children are being cared for by her friends. Few may notice this sacrificial service. To some, it may seem like an insignificant contribution to the work of God. But what if it is taken away? What if instead, there are mothers that only look to the interest of their own family? Then the ‘good’ that God requires of us will most definitely suffer.
In Micah 6, we are told what is good and what the Lord requires of us: “To do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” That is not something that only happens on the public stage but it is being accomplished ‘behind the scenes’ by women who realize that raising young children doesn’t relieve them of doing what God requires—it just changes the way in which they do it.