We live in an instant world. Instant messages keep us connected. Photos are taken, posted, shared and printed instantly. Request your Uber or Lyft ride and instantly your driver is three minutes away. And don’t get me started on Amazon Prime! If I want it tomorrow, I can order within six hours and simply hit the one click and it’s done … instantly.
I believe a part of us is conditioned and enjoy the benefits of receiving something instantly.
I think of my first instant camera and there was nothing instant about it.
It was this big and bulky, and the photo would come out with hidden images. It took time to develop. We’d fight to hold the photo and gradually see the images come into focus. I realized what I liked the most about the process was waiting.
There’s holiness in the hidden … in the moments that don’t happen in an instant.
I am still reflecting, nearly two months later, on Holy Saturday. The day that came between Friday’s crucifixion and Saturday’s resurrection. It was the day that Jesus was in the tomb, blocked by the stone. It felt as if nothing was happening, yet everything was happening at the same time. There is power in the hidden.
We can encounter Holy Saturday moments throughout our lives. It is in those mean time, in between time, experiences and no one is watching. The moments between crucifixion and resurrection of a dream or hope. The moments where it appears an area of your life is blocked by a stone. There’s power in the hidden.
Jesus had ministered for three years, we’ve read about his journey, studied his sermons and parables. We know about his teachings and miracles. Yet most of his life was hidden.
We hear of his birth and then he’s hidden for several days.
Jesus is circumcised and hidden for a couple of years
When he is two, he is in the court and hidden for 10 years.
We see him again in the temple at 12 years old — confounding the teachers and again his life is hidden for nearly two decades.
Yet it is in these hidden years, that he grew, developed and was prepared for his ministry.
There’s power in the hidden. Just because something is anonymous or hidden, doesn’t mean that it is insignificant. When we look at the powerful ministry of Christ, we understand the impact of those hidden years. There’s power in our hidden seasons.
My photographer friend taught me about darkrooms. The room can be made completely dark to allow the processing and developing of the light-sensitive photographic materials.
Spiritual darkrooms develop us. God is the photographer that captures the images of our lives and is with us in the spiritual darkroom.
There is holiness in the hidden.
When the photos came out of the instant camera, we shook the photo, so it would develop faster. That actually harmed the photo. Likewise we can’t rush, edit or delete the hidden years. But there is power in the hidden.
There is power in those anonymous and uncelebrated seasons of hiddenness. Our faith develops, our prayer life grows, we learn the important ministries of listening and presence. You treasure those people who encourage and supported you during those moments.
There’s holiness in the hidden and power in what we and others can’t yet see.
Blessed to be a blessing to you,
Sheila P Spencer