Sometimes when it hits I storm around the house, slamming cabinet doors and stomping my feet in frustration. Other times are better: I’m able to swallow down the words I want to spew and choose humility and grace instead. My response may be inconsistent, but the feeling itself is as predictable as paying taxes: resentment for the perceived lack of appreciation for all I give and do.
I’m not proud of it. I wish I could say I didn’t long to hear my husband gush to others about my strength of character or steady spirit. I would prefer to not need my friends and relatives to validate the emotional (and yes, physical) work I put in to make our family life healthy despite our conglomerate of special needs and mental health issues. But the truth is I have deep places within me that, from time to time, rise up and try to scream, No one sees your effort to be like Christ! No one knows about the thousands of times you’ve bitten your tongue, or responded in mercy instead of anger! No one sees you. No one is impressed. You’re all alone.
Maybe you can relate. Maybe you too wish you felt a greater appreciation from the people in your life. Maybe you feel that all your sacrifices, all your grace-infused efforts, go unnoticed.
If so, there’s hope for both of us in today’s Gospel.
Jesus assures us that everything hidden will one day become visible—including every single tiny, weak “yes” that we offer Him along the way. Where we feel unseen, He promises us that He sees. Where we feel unthanked, He reminds us our reward is in Heaven. And where we feel our most sincere efforts go unnoticed, He vows to bring them all to light. (Luke 8:17)
Sometimes people fail us; sometimes our jobs or relationships feel thankless and the acknowledgment of our efforts remains a pipedream. But Scripture gives us the consolation of knowing we are intimately seen and deeply loved. And one day, by God’s grace, we will hear Him say, Well done, good and faithful servant when everything hidden will become visible. Let us persevere in steadfast love and holiness, believing that the Lover of our souls sees all.
If you’re feeling unseen or unappreciated today, can you re-read the Gospel and believe it?
Shannon Evans is a Protestant missionary turned Catholic convert who lived to tell the tale. An adoptive and biological mom of two boys, she enjoys hosing mud off children, scrubbing sticky furniture, and rushing to the ER to have nails extracted from small intestines. You can find out more about her here.