Did anyone else notice how hard it was for a large majority of Saturday’s royal wedding attendees to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle? They were the two most important people at the event, yet for a variety of reasons, they were obscured from view for many guests and well-wishers for the much of the time. Only because the service and carriage ride were televised were we able to see the many little adorable moments that are making the news!
I felt sorry for the folks honored enough to be invited but seated in the back half of the sanctuary. Due to the structural design, only the lucky inner aisle seats had a chance to actually watch the ceremony and see, unaided, the royal couple. That is, when the robed choir director wasn’t blocking their view!
During the carriage ride is when I really became aware of how difficult it was to see this important couple. Instead of riding high above all the others in the procession, the prince and his bride were seated quite low in the low-profile Landau. Despite being the center of the parade, they were often hidden from view by anonymous royal guards on horseback. Even the footmen sat higher and were more noticeable than they!
Imagine being at street level. A clear live view was possible only when the carriage was basically right in front of a person in the crowd lining the street… assuming that person was close enough to the street edge to not be blocked by folks in front. Even then, that unhindered view was brief, for the entourage was moving rather quickly.
The important people were hard to see.
But that didn’t make them any less important.
Just because something or someone is not in the spotlight or isn’t in a position higher than others doesn’t mean that person or thing is not important. Neither our level of awareness or our esteem of something’s or someone’s worth determines their inherent value. Harry’s Uncle Edward is rarely in the spotlight and—unless you’re an avid fan of British royalty—is most likely unknown to you. But he’s still a prince, still a son of HRM Queen Elizabeth and the youngest brother of Prince Charles.
So, let me be blunt here: what’s important isn’t always obvious. In fact, what seems important to us most often is not.
Stephen Covey, in First Things First, reminds us that there’s a difference between important and urgent. A lot of things masquerading as important are nothing more than unimportant things screaming at us for urgent attention. Meanwhile, the truly important waits patiently, rarely raising a sense of urgency.
The truly important, then—like a low-profile prince—can often be considered as insignificant.
The Bible repeatedly teaches us, through a great variety of ways, to not despise the “little.” Just because something/-one appears to be unimportant doesn’t mean it is. This truth is born out in narratives like David’s selection to be king (1 Samuel 16:1-13) as well as in didactic passages like Paul’s body-parts analogy where the unseen parts are critically important to staying alive (1 Cor. 12:22-24 [12-27]).
Now, I could probably write several posts going into detailed applications launched from this theme of getting what’s important to be more in focus. Truly, we could explore this in every area of our lives and study the many verses that deal with this theme.
But right now, I just want to focus briefly on two things:
- The importance of you, and
- The importance of motherhood.
First, in case you missed my earlier subtle touch on a person’s worth, let me state clearly that YOU ARE IMPORTANT! You may never be in the spotlight of the public’s admiration or be a great leader or royal heir in this life. In fact, you may feel totally worthless and unseen. But let me remind you: from God’s perspective, there are no invisible sparrows. His love for you makes you extremely valuable and important.
Second, the roles of wife and mother are more important than this world has ever fully recognized. I grew up with a feminism that communicated to me that bearing and raising children was such a simplistic (read unimportant) job that anyone could easily do it, so all my talents, time, and energy would be wasted if I didn’t pursue a career that proved my worth to the world.
I’m confident I wasn’t the only girl who received that message for two reasons. One is the fact that the most common question to ask a new acquaintance, even when that person is a woman, is “What do you do for a living?” Or maybe it might be simply “Where do you work?” Either way, the assumption is the same.
The second reason for my confidence is the way a woman responds to those questions when she doesn’t work for a paycheck. What does she say? “Oh, I’m just a stay-at-home mom.” And whether her face or voice reveals it, she most likely feels a little bit unimportant in that moment.
Yes, it’s hard to see its importance when you’re dealing with a rebellious child. It’s hard to remember the value of focusing so much of your time, energy, and talents on these little ones when it takes years before they can even say “I love you” and even longer before you fully see any proof of whether you’ve done your job well.
There’s certainly no paycheck or promotions to provide any feedback. And nobody’s admiring motherhood like they do doctors, lawyers, and CEO’s.
Well, Mom, feel unimportant no more! Here’s why: quality mothering is important because the future of the world depends on it!
So, stop shamefully saying, “Oh, I’m just a stay-at-home mom.” In fact, stop making that statement. Stop saying “just,” which makes it sound so lowly.
Instead, join me in proudly declaring, “Oh, I’m exclusively a stay-at-home mom!” And like a good television crew, let’s draw the world’s attention to the importance that’s otherwise hard to see.
Thanks for reading!
**What would be a good statement for working moms to say to show the importance of their mom role?