When I first heard about this book on The Happy Hour, I was immediately intrigued. “Being hidden in a world that loves to be noticed” sounded refreshing, but I also wondered how possible it could be in the present day. Can we feel fulfilled without the praise of peers? Without likes on social media? Without measurable impact in a career field we’re passionate about?
In the first couple of chapters, Sara affirms our desire to be known, seen, and celebrated. God made us for relationship and for an extraordinary friendship with Him. Where we go wrong, however, is in how we approach our relationship–by trying to win his attention rather than resting in the truth that He initiated our relationship.
I’ve been the girl who thinks she has to win God’s attention, no doubt. I struggle with believing in God’s sincere fondness towards me. I know that He loves me, sure, but… He loves everyone, right?
His love for the world can make His love toward me feel more like an obligatory love. And this false belief can send me into a flurry of trying to win his affection through producing, serving, and acquiring knowledge.
God, I know you love me. But, do you like me? Are you happy with me?
There is a woman who Jesus earnestly praises in the book of Matthew: Mary. She does not wonder such things.
Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.”
But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
Matthew 26: 6-13 (ESV)
“For she has done a beautiful thing to me,” He says. And what was she doing? Wasting time. Wasting oil. Pouring herself out at His feet in worship. She wasn’t winning souls or giving to the poor, as those around her were quick to point out. She wasn’t worried about whether He would see her work as worthy of affection.
Jesus calls her actions beautiful. Beautiful waste.
Jesus says that the story of Mary would be told wherever the gospel is proclaimed because believing the gospel produces a Mary kind of adoration. Mary only had eyes for her truest love, not what she could do to get His love.
What the world deemed as waste was worship in her Savior’s eyes.
Jesus was sent to accomplish a mission; we were made to rest in Him. He came to teach and heal and eventually die. We are meant to worship in the everyday while trusting in His finished work even when we aren’t doing much at all. As Sara so thoughtfully puts it:
Maybe my unproductive, looking-up-at-Him life produced awe among the angels.
Unseen pg. 27
Throughout God’s Word, He praises others who hide themselves in Him. Sara describes many times in her life where hiddenness birthed growth and intimacy with God. Through infertility, grief, and seasons where she just wasn’t producing much, she felt hidden away, yet seen and celebrated by the most glorious God.
I want a life like Mary and Sara. Amen?
Pick up this book! It will change how you view God’s affection toward you and how the secret corners of your life are precious to Him.
If you do read it, let me know! I always love chatting about great books.
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