The church I serve is building a new pipe organ. It’s a fantastic instrument – a collection of almost 4,000 pipes made of metal and wood, along with blowers and valves and all manner of ancient crafts. The thing soars 30-something feet into the air. We won’t hear its voice until sometime this month, but I cannot wait. Maybe it’s because I have grown up with pipe organs, but they have always held me in thrall.

Recently several of us went to visit the factory where the organ was being built, and we witnessed a number of skilled workers carefully plying their crafts. Of course, there are not many people who build pipe organs, so their art is increasingly rare.

I noticed one artist, meticulously carving moldings and decorative detail for the huge case. I was impressed by his skill, but what amazed me even more was the realization that the piece that had his complete attention, even devotion, would go in a place that would be invisible to the eye. He was lovingly giving shape to a piece that would be around a corner and out of sight. Only he and God knew whether he did it right.

This set me to thinking about the integrity of all those whose work is invisible and yet who work with excellence. Not everyone gets to hear the applause of the crowd; some work quietly behind the scenes, where the only audience is God.

This reminded me of a prayer someone passed along to me, titled, “For Those Whose Work Is Invisible:”

“For those who paint the undersides of boats, makers of ornamental drains on roofs too high to be seen; for cobblers who labor over inner soles; for seamstresses who stitch the wrong sides of linings; for scholars whose research leads to no obvious discovery.

“For dentists who polish each gold surface of the fillings of upper molars; for sewer engineers and those who repair water mains; for electricians; for artists who suppress what does injustice to their visions; for surgeons whose sutures are things of beauty.

“For all those whose work is for Your eye only, who labor for Your entertainment or their own, who sleep in peace or do not sleep in peace, knowing their efforts are unknown.

“Protect them from down-heartedness and from diseases of the eye. Grant them perseverance, for the sake of Your love, which is humble, invisible, and heedless of reward.”

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