Meet Moses

On May 1, 1884, Moses Walker stepped up to the plate for the Toledo Blue Stockings - making him the first African-American baseball player to play professional baseball.  Sixty-three years later, Jackie Robinson swung the bat for the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Jackie, rather than Moses, is most-often credited with the distinction of the first African-American man to play professional baseball. 

Wishing no ill toward Robinson's well-deserved fame, I nevertheless wonder why no one, save baseball aficionados, has ever heard the name Moses Walker.  Most likely, it's because the Stockings were a minor league team while the Dodgers were a major league team.

Accounts of history often suffer from limited recaps - limited by their lack of focus on the less-than-sensational personalities and events.  For the sake of holding attention and committing to tell the "whole" story by telling part of it, historians must summarize. 

Even the Bible skips some details (obviously, unneeded ones - I won't argue with the Author).  However, there are exceptions.  For example, the Book of Judges covers some obscure events.  In the chapter of Hebrews, often deemed the "Faith Chapter," the writer hits the highlights - Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses' parents, etc.  He also, however, gives a shout-out to lesser known people of faith - unnamed, yes; but mentioned at least.

35 . . . There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
Hebrews 11:35b-38 (NIV)

Who were these women and men?  What were their names?  I will never know the answers to those questions.  I will, however, remember that they, like the "famous" faithful ones, take their rightful place in the great cloud of witnesses.  (See Hebrews 12:1.) 

In eternity, if I am able to meet those unnamed ones, I will thank the flogged ones for their examples of bravery, the sawed-in-two ones for their incredible faith, the destitute ones for their willingness to suffer for Christ, and the other witnesses for their obedience.  Yet - why wait until eternity?  Call them what you will -

- Unsung heroes
- Silent saints
- Behind-the-scenes servants
just call them.  Or maybe you prefer email, text, or face-to-face.  Join me in saying "thank you" to those who serve, love, care, and well-represent the cloud of witnesses - even with no promise that history will include mention of their names.


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