No Glory

I have spent the last two days sprucing up my yard.  Everywhere I look, something needs to be done – flower beds need to be weeded and cleaned, gutters need to be cleaned out, dead limbs need to be removed, bushes need to be trimmed and everything needs to be fertilized  There is no end in sight to the work that needs to be done in this yard.  If I were inclined to give up my blog and my child, I could make a career out of working in this yard.


Late this afternoon, as I gathered up my lawn tools for the day, I stood back and looked around at all I had done over the past two days.  I was filthy dirty, I had not one decent fingernail left, my bones ached and my spine was weary.   Except for several bags of lawn debris, the sad truth was that no one standing at the edge of the yard would ever know the difference.  I hadn’t planted a big tree or installed a fountain or done anything splashy.  Everything looked about the same, albeit a bit tidier if you cared to look closely.  No one is going to look closely.  There was not one drop of glory to salve my aching bones and weary spine.


No matter. It needed to be done, even if no one notices.


No glory.  As I put my gardening tools away, it occurred to me that that pretty much sums up Christian service.  Everywhere you look something needs to be done. And though you might work until you can’t stand up straight and your fingernails are so dirty they’ll never come clean, probably no one will even notice.


That is, if you are doing it right. 


Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.  Psalm 115:1 

52 thoughts on “No Glory

  1. That is a great analogy! Not altogether true though–there are always a few people who notice and tell you how you should have done it.

  2. I’ll remember this analogy as I work on my house. My whole house is like this!

    The antique mommy cannot keep up!

  3. Sorry—I did a typo–I mean this antique mommy—meaning me—I didn’t mean the original antique mommy. This one, me is older than the original and has more kids (older ones.)

  4. Thanks for the reminder! I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself lately. What a waste of time! I know that if I go do something for someone else, that the “pity party for one” will come to an abrupt and welcome end!

  5. So true. The most dedicated servants that I know will never be a famous Christian, but we’ll all recognize them when we get to heaven and be surprised.

  6. At first, I thought you were going to make this a parenting analogy. I feel that way about it sometimes too =) Great post!

  7. Well I was reading too fast.. and thought you typed Christian SCIENCE not Christian service. Which led me to Roseanne Roseanna Dana thoughts. “What’s this with Christian Scientists????” Lordie.

    This goes back to yesterday’s BE STILL.. I think I need a vacation.

  8. God’s fields are waiting for harvest workers, but we can’t stop planting seeds for future harvesting. When you are older, you will start seeing how something you have done has changed another soul. It is not always someone you have worked so hard on, but when you least expect it —- someone will send you a note saying what your witness has meant to them. It is nice to be old enough to see some things come to fruition. I’m glad you are out there with your tools.

  9. You know I don’t try to “work” on anyone but myself. I just try to love and serve the best I can and leave the rest to God. If something I’ve said or written works in the heart of another, that’s marvelous, but I would rather not know than risk fooling myself into thinking it was because of me.

  10. ain’t it so! But oh how helping shed the old growth of those dark places with light will sometimes make all the difference in lives and gardens….well written and well done!
    hugs hugs hugs,

  11. Amen. His rewards are immeasureably better. Thanks for the reminder to roll up my sleeves and do some “gardening” for God.

  12. Kinda like being in the eye of a storm, no one on the “edge” of the storm can see how peaceful in really is. God works wonders in his garden.

  13. OH NO! Now I feel guilty for ranting on and on and on and on… There really is a reward in the doing, in the tending. I’m glad I know this and only lose my mind every once in a while.

  14. That is exactly what I was telling my husband this morning. That I hate it when I have worked so hard all morning and the only noticable thing is that my counters look clean. ARGH.

    But there is satisfaction in a job well done, even if it is only me and God that know it.

  15. AM, Just getting to know you through your writing and of course your great pictures, always brings a smile to my face. You are just being the beautiful “you” that you are and that is a wonderful thing.
    Great post once again!

  16. Hi AM, I’ve been reading your blog over the past year or so and have been an avid lurker, enjoying your gifted storytelling. I just had to comment on this post because it was so simple, yet so profound and struck me deeply because it’s the way I’ve been feeling lately, but I didn’t know it until you articulated it for me. Thanks for the perspective, inspiration, and goodness. God bless you and your family! =)

  17. What a beautiful post.

    One of my big surprises since converting to Christianity is that moments like this can be so filled with glory and joy, even when only God notices. It makes sense, but for some reason it was surprisng to me to actually experience it.

    Thanks for this great post.

  18. So I guess when I power washed the back porch I shouldn’t have walked every family member out to see it? Thank you for sharing this.

  19. I’ve felt the same way…that no one would notice my hours of hard work. But I noticed. And that gives me a deep satisfaction to know that I’ve cleared up the flower beds for myself. Sometimes others don’t need to know when we have done some Christian deed or chore. But we know, along with our Heavenly Father. And that is what matters…

  20. You know… the biggest difference between the yard work and Christian service is God. God notices both. The verse I am reminded of here is “Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” That goes along with your statement if you are doing it right. And even though not everyone will notice all the weed pulling and raking and such that you have done, you know and you feel better now looking at it know it is done, don’t you? (I have been doing lots of yardwork too… it seems to be taking forever… doesn’t help that I am a mom of three kids who is pregnant and alone atm. I am married but my husband is currently out of the country for 5-6 months. Anyways.. this was a nice post that a friend of mine sent to me to read. Have a great day! *blessings*

  21. Was that a challenge? That hair photo?
    At 7am with my coffee not even in my brain yet this is what I got. And when I rhyme you gotta stand back ’cause it’s not gonna be pretty. Sorry for the Gallows Humour so early in the morning…


    The day that it rained
    Not cats and dogs.
    Not throwing from Heaven
    Big bull frogs.
    Filling our boots.
    Boats bobbing on bogs.
    Oh, it rained and it rained
    Not showering light.
    Nowhere to be found
    A fancey’s delight.
    Not raining and raining
    all through the night
    Nor casting below
    A shimmering sight.
    But instead
    It laid down from Heaven
    The hair from my head.
    The thunder resounded
    As though I were dead.
    MY IV flipped from my arm
    Tired and red.
    I became a statistic
    Of cancerous fed.
    Oh, the world it was covered
    But no longer my head.

    No dogs and no frogs
    No fairies of light
    Just one bald head
    A world covered in thread.

    I’d rather it rained

  22. Please excuse spelling errors and typos. I KNOW “fancy” not “fancey”. Let’s pretend it’s old English or something. Not. awake. yet.

  23. This post was exactly what I needed this week. EXACTLY. I have read this post a thousand times the past two days. Thank you for the encouragement!

  24. Wow! Did I ever need to hear this one. My husband is currently an over worked, under appreciated pastor. I needed to be reminded that our “ministry” is not for recognition by anyone but our Heavenly Father. God is faithful and will give us exactly what we need at the very moment we need it – even if it is strength to clean up the yard.

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