“I would define ‘hidden art’ as the art found in the ordinary areas of everyday life. Each person has, I believe, some talent which is unfulfilled in some hidden area of his being – a talent which could be expressed and developed.”
By Edith Schaeffer
“The Hidden Art of Homemaking”
One morning, as I was sweeping my kitchen floor, I was wondering why I was wasting my time cleaning up messes that would just be recreated again within mere minutes. This was "back in the day" when the loudest women's voices all around me were claiming that if I didn't have a "career" where I would be recognized for all of my accomplishments, I would die a completely "unfulfilled" woman. That, really, I could do anything a man could do, and probably even better, if I just had the chance. And it was my responsibility to seize that opportunity, search for it and demand it, if I was ever to be a valued member of the human race.
But what about sweeping the kitchen floor? And what about washing the laundry for all of these people in my family who depended on me to take care of such "unimportant" matters as cooking and cleaning? So, of course I carried on, and I finished sweeping the floor, and doing the dishes, and changing the diapers, and rocking the sick babies, and going to the library, and reading with the toddlers, and going to the park with the pre-schoolers, and taking the older children to music lessons and sports practices. How in the world was I EVER going to do something "important" if all of my time was invested in this "home maker" business?
Then, another day, I happened to come across the writing of Edith Schaeffer, and it completely changed my perspective on life. I had read some of the books by her husband, Francis Schaeffer, including "How Should We Then Live," in which Dr. Schaeffer gives historical examples of how our choices, as a people and as a nation, have presented us with the ultimate question for every human being: how should we live, in light of the cultural and historical realities of our times? And in the midst of such philosophical ponderings, I still had to face MY reality of diapers, screaming babies, and naughty toddlers. How to bridge the gap between what seemed to be a message about what I "ought" to be doing, and what, in reality, I actually "was" doing.
Mrs. Schaeffer, in her own practical and yet deeply philosophical approach, enabled me to see that I was doing exactly what God wanted me to be doing for that day, for that time in my life. That my choices in my home everyday, would make a difference for eternity. And the most significant aspect of this revelation, to me, was the truth that I can, and I do, use all of my creativity, all of my energy, all of my God-given gifts within the context of caring for my home and family.
Even in the seemingly "ordinary" moments of life, my choices to focus my ministry first, but not necessarily exclusively, on my home and family DOES make a difference in the history of humanity. Because if, within the setting of my home, God can use me to touch one life . . . one child . . . . one friend . . . . one neighbor, that is truly His work. I am honored to have received the ministry of "home making," and just like your ministry may not be what someone else has been called to do, I do not need to compare my ministry to someone else's. So wherever you are, whatever you are doing, God wants us all to pursue that "hidden art" that resides within each of our hearts, and create our "art" to His honor and glory.
"The Hidden Art of Homemaking" by Edith Schaeffer was first published in 1972, but it is still available through Amazon.
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