Cathedrals are the most beautiful buildings in the world (if you don’t believe me just Google the Cathedral of Milan, or the Washington National Cathedral). Some of the oldest man-made structures still standing on this planet are cathedrals. Many of them took over a hundred years to build. Can you imagine that? A hundred years to construct one building!
Bear in mind, these builders had not been to University to study architecture or building technology. They didn’t have cranes and diggers and all this modern equipment used in constructing even the simplest boy’s quarters today. They didn’t have computers, or even calculators to help them work out the correct measurements and proportions, but somehow, they still managed to create these amazingly complex, impossibly beautiful, eternally strong edifices, which continue to stand long after the builders are dead and gone.
Very often, the men who worked on cathedrals spent their whole lives on that single project, and amazingly, many of them did the work for free. Church leaders were extremely powerful back then. They could order a whole village to spend a year working on a cathedral project as penance for some sin one of them may have committed, and they would all obey without questioning. Many cathedral master builders believed they were doing it for God, and so they sacrificed their time, energy and skills for no financial reward whatsoever.
Sadly, the builders and craftsmen who created these miraculous monuments are almost all unknown today. Their names were never recorded, so, in addition to not being paid, they will never enjoy any credit or praise for the amazing work they spent their entire lives doing. The fruits of their lives’ labour are visible for all to see, but they themselves will forever remain invisible.
There’s a story of a young craftsman who was asked to sculpt a piece of stone which would be used to hold up one corner of a cathedral roof. Even though he knew it would be hidden out of sight under the gable, he still spent days carving this stone into a beautiful angel figurine. One of the labourers asked him why he was toiling so hard over a stone nobody would even see. His answer was simple: “God sees.”
My people, we may not realise it, but there are many invisible people among us today – people we never see, or think about, or acknowledge. What is the name of the man who sells you your newspaper every day? Who is that woman who sweeps the street in your estate? Do you know the person who washes the dishes after you have your lunch? Who repairs the traffic lights when they are faulty? Does your office cleaner have a wife? Does he have children? Did you notice when he was off sick for a whole week last month? These people work daily to make our lives easier, but we don’t see or acknowledge them.
For some of you, the invisible people are a lot closer to home. When you come out of the shower, your clothes are miraculously laid out for you to wear. When you sit at the dining table, food miraculously appears before you, your children are miraculously washed and dressed and ready for school every morning. You come from work, take off your clothes, put them in the laundry basket, and by Monday morning, these same clothes are miraculously washed, ironed and folded in your wardrobe.
Some of you have never seen an electricity or water bill in your lives. You flip the switch knowing that the lights will come on, but you don’t know how they’re paid for. Nobody has ever turned up at your door to evict you because you haven’t paid your rent or mortgage. All thanks to that invisible person who spends their whole lives working to make your life easier.
Today, I want to talk to all you invisible people out there. You work may not be seen, or acknowledged, or rewarded, but I want you to know that you are building a cathedral, I want you to know that people may come and go without seeing you, but God sees you. We take you for granted, but don’t let that stop you. You don’t work for us, you work for Him, and your employer sees everything you do. Every bill you pay, every button you sew, every desk you clean, every leaf you sweep off the street, every newspaper you fold in two and hand to your customer with a smile he doesn’t even notice. God sees your Cathedral my friend, and He is well pleased.
My name is Kojo Yankson, and I may not be able to see you, but you are NOT invisible to me. I thank you for reading my messages, leaving your comments, and for tuning in every morning. Keep building that cathedral.
GOOD MORNING, GHANAFO!
Columnist: Kojo Yankson