I’ve always liked Secret Santas & Layaway Angels.
It’s one of the things I also love about ministry. There are countless opportunities to have a covert relationship with someone in terms of our prayer lives.
Consider the people you pray for who are known to you only by name (and maybe you don’t even know their names.) E’s daughter, A’s mother, SBC and TBC’s future partners – these are all people on my prayer list even though I don’t know them. My hope is that a day will come when I get to meet these people face to face, and I will smile because- unbeknownst to them – I’ve had a relationship with them for a while now. I’ve been talking to God about them. On that fine day when I might see them face to face, I will be smiling. It’s like reuniting with a long lost friend albeit one we’ve never met personally.
There is another aspect of ministry involving covert activities and the warm feelings are completely internal and confidential. Some ministry results in avoiding eye to eye contact:
- The older parishioner who regularly receives money from the clergy emergency fund to pay her utilities while no one else is aware that she is in financial distress.
- The young woman who tearfully discloses that her father sexually abused her throughout her childhood.
- The young man you met at NA.
- The teenager you bailed out from jail.
- The waitress you tipped a twenty dollar bill to after she shared that she was saving money to buy a cell phone.
Sometimes we act like we don’t know each other because it’s easier that way. Sometimes shame keeps us from looking into the eyes of the ones who know the truth about us. But it’s ok.
God also knows. And God and I are talking together in prayer, looking forward to your wholeness together.