An explanation of my title is in order. It means secondary, underling, lightweight, etc. It is an orchestral term. The first violinist is the most visible, high profile member. He or she sits in the very front row, right in front of the conductor. The rest of the violinists sit next to or behind, drawing lesser attention. The term is used to portray those who are good, but never openly acknowledged or accepted. By the way, originally I thought of giving the title “Second Fiddlers and Under Dogs”. Under Dogs are the persons or players in a team that is popularly known to be “losers”. It sounded dissonant. So, on second thought I decided to cut it out.
The Bible has many examples of this. Almost all “first violinists or super dogs” of the Bible started as light weights, like Jacob, Joseph, Daniel etc. The two most prominent names in the old book which were thrown at Jesus by the religious leaders were, Abraham and Moses. Abraham lived a simple nomadic life till God used him and his progeny to demonstrate His desire and will to the world. As to Moses, the once prince of Egypt, his real story started when he was a refugee, an underling, a keeper of sheep of a Midianite Sheik in the backside of a desert. Bible greats did not start with a silver spoon in their mouths. Respectfully speaking, think of the Lord himself. You can feel the scorn, derision, when the religious leaders questioned “Is not he the carpenter’s son?”
Though understandable to some extent, David’s elder brothers treated him as an underling. I know it, for I am the youngest of eight. You could sense their reaction when David showed up at the battle field, while Goliath was strutting, challenging and mocking the Israeli army. Strange, even father Jesse did not have any high expectation of David either, despite the fact he had already killed a lion and a bear protecting his sheep; not a bad record for his resume. This type of insensitivity or botching happens all the time. It must have been a rude awakening when Samuel uncorked the jar and poured the anointing oil on David as future king.
The healing of General Naaman the Syrian, of leprosy with a double jeopardy, of isolation from others and a horrible slow death, is noteworthy. The praise is accorded to prophet Elisha, except with one small side note to a maid servant, possibly from Samaria. We know how faithfully she served her mistress and her assistants, who took note of her testimony. In fact, the whole miracle would not have happened without her, a “loser” – a slave maid! Did any recognize that this girl is a picture or a shadow of future evangelists? She witnessed about God and his prophet from Samaria.
I must have written elsewhere about Ananias, only mentioned once in the holy book (twice for the same incident). Yet, he held the key from God for the salvation of Saul of Tarsus, who later became the great St. Paul. Imagine Paul, a Pharisee of Pharisees, who sat at the feet of Gamaliel, grandson of the great Hillel, was led to the Lord by a “certain man named Ananias”. Sometimes I wonder how many second fiddlers and under dogs like the maid of Samaria or the lesser known Ananias, are unnoticed and discarded by the Spiritual? Yes, the labourers are few. Fewer still looks out for these.
I heard an old story of an old missionary couple returning from Africa to USA after fifty years of service. As their ship approached the port of New York, they witnessed a great crowd complete with the media and band playing for a VIP. On the same ship was President Teddy Roosevelt returning after a Safari. The missionary succumbed to despair and complained with tears to the Lord about their sorrowful plight of unrecognition. The Lord consoled him with these famous words “Son, you are not home yet”. What a sad but real story! I did not think much about this story until I started writing this blog post. I wondered, if a veteran professional Missionary could be so upset and chagrined, how many thousands of second and third fiddlers and countless under dogs and losers who are daily and routinely unrecognized and passed by?
E. Stanley Jones wrote referring to the so called laities “these people were given a secondary role and they lived a secondary life” (may not be exact words, as presently I do not have the book with me). Let us by God’s grace resolve to change the status quo!
God bless, Danny Paul