Claudia Barba’s “Monday Morning Club”

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The church refrigerator has been emptied of all dead food, thanks to you. The refrigerators of jobless families have been filled with fresh food. That’s also thanks to you.

That day when I walked headlong into the glass front door of the fruit market, I was very glad the guys outside stacking melons spoke a language I couldn’t understand. I’d like to blame the beautiful melons for distracting me, but the truth is that I just took that door for granted. I assumed it would magically swing open like most grocery doors. Not that one. It just sat there and let me walk right into it. I don’t know which hurt worse-my nose or my pride.I no longer take automatic doors for granted. Since painfully learning what can happen when they don’t do what I expect, I’ve been giving them the appreciation they deserve. I should have done this a long time ago, for I’m a ministry wife, and I know what it’s like to be taken for granted. Much of what a ministry wife does is never noticed . . . but lately, I’ve been noticing you!

Those candy wrappers crammed into the crevices of the pew cushions-I watched you dig them out with your nail file. You’re also the one I saw take the volunteer list after it had been passed around so she could sign up for every job not already taken. Somebody pulled the dead blooms from the lobby lilies, updated the bulletin boards, and polished the piano keys. That was you, too.

The baptismal robes have been washed and re-hung and there are fresh towels in the kitchen. I’m pretty sure you’re responsible for that. I also know that you chose the rowdy VBS class and baked extra cookies every day that week just in case someone forgot. The church refrigerator has been emptied of all dead food, thanks to you. The refrigerators of jobless families have been filled with fresh food. That’s also thanks to you.

But sometimes, those thanks are slow in coming, and you sense that you are being taken for granted. Congratulations! To achieve that status, you have to have been so faithful for so long that it never occurs to anyone that you might not do your job. You have been thoroughly reliable, consistent, and trustworthy, quietly serving without fanfare or reward, expecting neither.

Would you rather not be taken for granted? Just quit doing your job for a while, stand back and watch people bump their noses. Then they’ll appreciate you! But I suspect that that’s not your style. You’d rather rest in the truth that “God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Hebrews 6:10). I’m not the only one who notices you. The Father up above is looking down in love, and He never takes you for granted.

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