Your Best Work is Unseen
Michelangelo spent four years of his life painting elaborate frescoes inspired by the Bible on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Before the age of photography, much of the detail could not be seen and appreciated from the floor, 68 feet below. I heard it said someone asked the artist why he bothered to paint features no one could see. He replied, “God can.”
That story is almost certainly fictitious, but the reality behind it is true. Much of that artist’s best work will only be seen by God.
I was reminded last weekend that the same is true for every one of us as I witnessed a beautiful display of character in the midst of the worship service. It was inspiring because it came in response to a very difficult test. Unfortunately, I can’t tell the story because doing so would betray a confidence. “Well then why bother telling us about it if you can’t tell us about it?!”
That’s the point! Much of our best work will be seen by only few, and sometimes only by God alone. I saw a woman sincerely applaud along with everyone else when the excellent work she did was mistakenly attributed to another. I remember a student in middle school humbly obeying a teacher’s order to clean up a mess he was falsely accused of making. I know of babysitters who go the extra mile for their employers even though it is often not noticed or rewarded. I have watched a man remain silent in the face of false accusations because to reveal the truth would betray a confidence.
Much of our best work will only be seen by God. Jesus said we should be glad in those moments because those deeds are especially prized by our Father, and He delights to richly reward what no one else sees.