When No One Is Looking

When No One Is Looking

Every evening like clockwork I get a notification in my emails. Another video has been uploaded to YouTube from a channel I subscribed to long ago but rarely watch now. Since the pandemic began we have looked to our comfort entertainment as much as our comfort food. That’s why I cried a bit when Some Good News (which posts only once a week) said they were taking a break.

But this notification I get every evening is for a Christian show. For kids. And last night I finally tuned in. You see there has to be something said for someone who will be there for kids. I wanted to see how the two people were doing the show from home. Would they just as funny as their well-rehearsed and polished written shows? What Bible stories could they be doing night after night?

Here were these two men putting on quality work with simple stories, not even taking Sunday off (or maybe they film two on Saturdays). At first, I was sad because it showed there were only 90 of us watching at the moment compared to the hundreds of thousands watching this week’s edition of Some Good News last night too.

A whole country and less than one hundred. Then, in that show, they shared some of the kid requests and letters to them. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t that many, it mattered that they mattered to that small group of kids. I suddenly saw they didn’t need me to be watching. It wasn’t important but how blessed to see the people these men were getting to watch. As I checked this morning, it might be reassuring that this video has almost had one thousand views now. But why do we still care about numbers of views versus impact from them?

This weekend I did research about how to make the viral video, how to increase and sustain the people coming back to watch. Turns out it is about connections, relationships. You really don’t want the pressure of coming back over and over to outdo yourself, you don’t really want a viral video for long term growth. I learned about something called the two generals problem and how to recognize whether your message gets through. Supposedly, that problem is unsolvable but then that’s why we have the Holy Spirit to help us do the impossible.

We don’t have just “Some Good News” to share, as much as I love that. We have the Good News to share.  In the Parable of the Sower, only a fraction of the seeds grow to maturity but we grow and learn as part of that process. Only ten percent of what we try and do even in ministry may only work and that is not from our doing alone. We have to understand that the message and persistence in getting it out is only our part, God does the rest. We are being developed as much as the stories we share.  Our productiveness is not measured in viewers but in doers.

Today, would you take a moment and express gratitude for those who labor without needing to validate themselves by the very praise you’ll give them? Look for the workers who will (like clockwork) do God’s work because they are called to do it, not because they want to be called out for it. They don’t do it for our attention; they do it for the least of these which ironically should get our attention.

And even if they didn’t want, expect, or need it, I want to thank the Skit Guys for ministering to kids every night without fail. It took me weeks (weeks!) to see what you were doing but I am grateful that you didn’t stop or wait for grown-ups like me to notice you.

Bedtime Stories by the Skit Guys