We don’t always know what is happening behind the scenes. Often, years later we hear the story-behind-the-story.

Macrina (340-379), a monastic and teacher, is at the heart of one of those stories. Macrina founded one of the earliest Christian communities in the city of Pontus (Near Armenia).

Although she left behind no writings, Macrina was highly influential in the development of three of the great Bishops of the early Christian faith: Gregory of Nyssa (her brother), Peter of Sebaste, and Basil the Great.

These names may not be familiar to you, but they are a few of the individuals that formed the early Christian traditions, upon which the Christian faith rests today.

Gregory wrote that these and others often consulted with Macrina on matters of theology and faith. Macrina continued to teach and encourage on her death bed, which was no more than two planks of wood lying on a dirt floor.

This is just one of many millions of cases where someone obscure in history was instrumental in working behind-the-scenes to build-up the lives of others.

My wife, Marla, has done much the same for me. As I was working through personal and spiritual issues in my earlier life, she was there to encourage and support me in ways that will never really be known to others.

I have often fallen short of giving her the thanks she deserves. I can truly say that I would not be the person or priest I am today without her. Thank you, Marla.

Is there someone behind the scenes in your life that needs to be recognized for their support of you? It is usually difficult, or impossible, for a support person to toot their own horn. It is up to us to recognize and thank our secret-supporters.

This makes me think of the times God has given me support, protection, and healing without my even knowing it. The people that support us often do so in secret, and I am certain that the Holy Spirit often supports us in secret. “… your heavenly Father knows what you need … seek first the kingdom of God, and all necessary things will be provided for you.” (Matthew 6:32b, 33).

Be sure to thank God for everything, seen and unseen, known and unknown. And thank those in your life that support and guide you behind-the-scenes. In both cases, you will be a better person because you did.

Blessings and Peace,

Fr. David+

Rev. Dr. David Bridges is the pastor at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Grove. He can be reached at frdavid@standrewsgrove.org.