I recently read an article called “The Invisible Mother.” The article talked about a mom who was feeling discouraged and unappreciated and basically invisible to everyone. One night the mom had dinner with a friend who was returning on a trip from England. The friend gave her a book about great cathedrals built in Europe and had written in the inscription: ‘With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.’
The mom learned 4 truths from the book which were:
1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals – there were no records of their names.
2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
4) The passion of their building was fuelled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
The article also mentions the following legend that was written in the book:
A rich man came to visit a cathedral while being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man,
‘Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof. No one will ever see it’
And the workman replied, ‘Because God sees.’
God sees all that we do whether or not anyone else does. I think the invisible idea could be applied to pretty much any person because at one time or another we’ve all felt this way. We are all building some type of “cathedral” with our lives whether we realize it or not. What are we building and what is it based on? Our “cathedral” or what we do with our time, our gifts, and our money, should be for God, not ourselves, the true Creator of all things. All we have is for Him. Who we are, the talents we have, relationships we have, all of it belongs to Him.
But, as I thought about all of this, it seemed like something was missing, something deeper. After thinking about it for a while, I realized what it was.
I think the whole idea should be taken a step further. More important than what we are building here on earth with our lives is the question of why? Why are we building our cathedral?
I believe God wants us to remember the answer to “why we are building our cathedral” not so we can feel lowly, but so we can experience the richness of His love and share it with others!
His love is the bottom line. Our cathedrals (our lives) are simply a reflection of God’s love and who He is. Hopefully they are a shining, beautiful reflection! But it really isn’t about us at all. We can build all the cathedrals in the world, do all the good deeds, etc., but if we miss His love, we missed the whole point. His love is the reason for building in the first place. His love is the foundation. Honestly, for me, I really don’t care about much else. Material things are so insignificant compared to His love!
My husband describes me as a “mushy” person. I agree. I’m a hopeless romantic who loves hugs, kind words, thoughtful letters, love songs, and small sentimental gifts, etc. So what’s the point and why does this matter? Because all of those things show love! Love is the driving force behind each and every one of them. If human love can be so strong and feel like such a powerful thing, how much greater is God’s love!
Imagine the most loved you’ve ever felt from a human relationship and multiply it by a thousand. It still doesn’t touch the amount of love God has for us. God’s gifts of love towards us are much greater than any human tokens of love we will ever receive!
To me, that is the point of the cathedral building…reflecting Jesus’ love. It isn’t about us being invisible at all. It’s about Him! We should try to reflect as much of His wonderful love as we can towards others. His love should be our focus as we build our cathedrals. In the craziness of life, we need to remember who He is and His great love for us. When we remember His perfect love for us, all of the goodness and greatness of who He is will be reflected in our “cathedral”.
No one person’s “cathedral” or contribution to a cathedral looks the same. All that matters is that we build the cathedral God calls us to build. Our cathedral doesn’t need to be compared to someone else’s and we don’t need to judge another’s cathedral if it doesn’t meet our expectations! It’s unfortunate that so many get stuck comparing and judging their life with others. Our cathedral should simply be to glorify God.
We have to remind ourselves that we aren’t unseen whether we feel like it or not. The whole reason He made us is because He loves us. It’s because of His great love that we are never invisible. I have to remind myself of that at times, and it’s okay, so long as I come back to the truth. The truth that God loves and sees me, always. Just as He loves and sees you. Prayerfully, we can keep our focus on God and His great love as we are building. His love is what we want to reflect and it will certainly never be invisible.
Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
1 Corinthians 3:10-11
According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.