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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Unsung Hero (12/07/06)

TITLE: Seen on the Scene
By Esther Phillips


I drove up to the church on a weekday and saw Irene working in the flowerbeds. We had a white church sign on the corner of the lot. It had a flowerbed around it that was about 2 ft. high and closed in with red bricks. Irene frequently dug up the old flowers and replaced them with new ones. She brought her own tools, fertilizer, and topsoil. It was expertly done. If you didn’t happen to go to the church on a weekday, you probably would not have given second thought about the beautiful flowers except to admire them.

One day, it occurred to me that there were several people lovingly doing things around the church. They didn’t do it for recognition but because it gave them joy and satisfaction. I thought we should make more people aware of these unsung heroes so I started a column in the church newsletter called, “Seen on the Scene.” My eyes became trained to look for things people did to make life better for the rest of us.

I found Jim repairing a door that wouldn’t close properly. The only way we would know someone worked on it was if we tried to leave and couldn’t get it to shut.

There was a group of people who worked for days to clean out an old room and totally refurbished it so a new study group could have a place to meet. They transformed a room that had been used as a “catchall” into a bright area that looked like a garden.

Harold came frequently and worked on the air conditioners. Most people didn’t know to thank him. They would have complained, however, if it weren’t comfortable for them to worship.

My own grandfather was there during the week cleaning. He didn’t do it for pay. He did it because it made him feel useful.

Beverly spent untold hours keeping the church library in order. She worked as a librarian at the school and so she kept it in professional order. Volunteering to do the things away from your job that you do in your professional life is a total act of love.

John and Jill came every Monday to count the money and record it on individual cards. Certainly the average parishioner new it was done because they got their quarterly reports. They didn’t know who did it or how many hours were given to the process.

Ladies showed up every Tuesday to help get the newsletter processed and ready for mailing. Their assistance to the secretary was unparalleled.

All of these things and more made it to the “Seen on the Scene” column. We asked in the column for people to be sure to thank these people when they saw them. We asked their assistance in turning in items about people that they caught on the scene. The column helped us to be more aware that there are a lot of people doing things to make our lives more comfortable and enjoyable.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Powers 12/16/06
A nice idea! This unseen "backstage crew" of every church is invaluable. This was a good way to recognize them. Nice job on telling the story, too.
Great take on a perspective that not many people take into consideration. Truly brings forth a spirit of gratefulness helps us to take notice of the small things. Thank you for your contribution.
Betty Overstreet01/07/07
So true! There were lots of years I attended church never wondering who did all those jobs, just taking for granted someone would. It was a wonderful feeling when I started helping out. My husband and I did the prep for communion periodically and he did the financial job for many years.
Loved your story! Keep up the good work of encouraging people to volunteer with the gifts God gave them! Love, Betty