The other day, during a teaching-discussion session, an ex-military officer pointed out a very pertinent but often-forgotten fact. In the defence services, a soldier in the front needs the support of team of 10-15 others. These would include the ones who cook his food & provide water, take care of his vestments, maintain his weapons & vehicles, care for his health, provide his family with essential life necessities and such like. It is this faithful team, serving quietly and obtrusively, that ensures the warrior out guarding the nation on land, sea & air does so with a clear and focused mind, unclouded by other cares of civilian life!
It is this battalion of unsung heroes, selflessly serving, often without thanks, doggedly and unstintingly, day after day, working behind scenes that ensure the fitness and form of the soldier at all levels at all times at all locations.
In any arena of life, the success and failure of a task/work/project depends on the back office or the back up team. In any drama or play or movie etc., the real worker bees are the ones who toil behind scenes, many times placing their life on the line or in danger, enduring long hours and even amidst personal discomfort. In any private or public meeting or concert or event, the real often-forgotten stars are those who toil in the background with no recognizable star presence. Leave them out of the picture and you end up with chaos!
In any church program, crusade, mission, outreach, etc., the ones who pray tirelessly, cater tables, serve the weak & helpless are the numerous unseen ministers of faith and the faithful. Any church leader, who doesn’t have a team of co-workers backing him/her in prayer, sharing their sorrows or pain, giving a listening ear in their down times, lending their families a helping hand, being at their beck and call as dependable, supportive, trusted partners in the vision, is prone to failure and faltering!
This group may never share a stage, ever be in the spotlight, have no media or be missing on the social media. Yet they are the backbone and the supporting pillars of the work of God and the building of His Kingdom. Remove or neglect them and you will have the whole superstructure of the work falling apart, literally!
It is this team, including patiently sacrificing family members, that would need acknowledgement, acclaim and account, above all and this is the one that may never get its praise. This team doesn’t usually need a very ebullient demonstration of gratitude, for many of them have a retiring dispositions and shrink from publicity. They just need a token of thanks & care – a kind word, a grateful handshake, an appreciative pat, a loving hug and a well-done-I-am-aware-of-your-worth look!
After a recent outreach event, while posting an online pictorial account, I found to my dismay that I didn’t have any record of those who undertook the backstage tasks. I rued the fact that all I had was the means to tag their names on it as an acknowledgement of their invisible presence and hidden teamwork.
I have been part of such a backseat work and so do know firsthand the need for and the impact of approbation. Nothing would so encourage and enable me to continue the good work as a well-done-you-hidden-hero applause or comment!
In case an appreciation was not tendered, like David, I would motivate myself by remembering John Milton’s famous poem that honors ‘those who stand and wait’!