Thank You for Serving Behind the Scenes

Some of us need to be the smartest/prettiest/most important person in the room with a mike in our hand and our names featured prominently.  And some of us prefer to serve behind the scenes – so far behind the scenes that almost no one’s aware of our contributions – however profound.

This post is about honoring those national treasures who work behind the scenes.

HH and I were officiating at the memorial service of a retired parishioner from Hungary years ago in Our Nation’s Capital, and we were aware that he’d had some kind of role in WWII.

We realized that his role was more significant than we’d known when his former colleagues eulogized him with words like this:

  • __ was always interested in keeping the women and children safe.
  • __ risked his own life and reputation.
  • __ never got credit for the sacrifices he made.

We had had no idea that our quiet parishioner had been a behind-the-scenes force for good in the Hungarian Resistance.  We’d just known him as a retired man with a lovely accent.

No organization – much less a church organization – can thrive without behind-the-scenes support.  It could be that they perform thankless tasks that nobody sees (clean out the kitchen refrigerator, dust all the books in the church library, regularly phone the home bound members to check on them.) Or it could be that they perform tasks that are so confidential that only the need-to-know people actually do know (the attorneys who donate their legal expertise, the wealthy member who pays a struggling family’s mortgage.)

Thank you, behind-the-scenes people.  Thank you for having the great idea but not getting credit for it.  Thank you for repairing the faucet in the ladies’ bathroom.  Thank you for representing us in court. Thank you for being a character witness at the court martial. Thank you for being on call for psychological emergencies.  Thank you for driving __ to chemotherapy every Tuesday.  Thank you for leaving oranges for the pastor’s kids.  Thank you.

We need you.  We appreciate you.  We can never repay you.

Image of the set of Hamilton as imagined (and eventually constructed) by one designer we know by name – David Korins – and countless carpenters, electricians, and artists we don’t know by name.  They did a good job literally working behind the scenes.

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