The Faceless Ones


Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from Scripture
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Today’s Readings: Luke 8:16-25; Col. 2:16-23; Ps. 128; 1 Chron. 10-11

The first 9 chapters of 1 Chronicles is not exactly scintillating reading. Rosters
of names difficult to pronounce, and with rare exceptions not seen anywhere
else in Scripture. Faceless masses of men and women I can know nothing about
and for all intents and purposes, care nothing about either. Like Janet Shea. My
aunt. We buried her today. And other than a very few, no one who reads these
words will have even the slightest conception of who she was. But just like
those in Chronicles – and this is why such passages are important for us to read
from time to time – the greater fabric of the people of God throughout history,
are the faceless multitudes we will never know until we reach Heaven. These
multiplied millions in the army of the anonymous, nameless peoples spanning
many millennia are an essential part of you and me – as they comprise a part
of the everlasting Body of Christ, apart from which you and I would not be
complete. Some, like Janet, were “just” housewives. Never wrote a book. Never
addressed royalty. Never traveled very far. As I mentioned at the funeral, I will
never forget Janet for this one thing: As an overweight, self-conscious, fatally
nerdy little kid – she made me feel special. I always knew Aunt Janet liked me –
even if others didn’t. Afterward, 3 of my cousins came up to tell me she did the
very same thing for them. Each of us thought WE were the special one! We all
laughed. Janet was not an easy person. Seriously flawed. I suspect a very hurt
woman. But she impacted my life, and every person I impact (if God should be
so pleased as to make that any) will owe some of that to an encouraging smile
from and unknown woman in upstate New York. These “nobodies”, are who
Christ died for. They are the ones who kept the faith, quietly, tenaciously, if
faultily, throughout the generations. They are the heritage from which we
descend. I am one of them. So are you if you are Christ’s. Along with the likes
of Tola, Puah, Jashub, Shimron, Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Jibsam, and
Shemuel. And a few million others.

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