Secrecy in the Night

“[N]ine old nanas” is what Ann Voskamp calls them. They kept their secret for thirty years. They conspired and sneaked out to do their “drive-bys” in the night–hoping no one else would ever know.

They carved money from their budgets and hid it from their husbands–almost $400 every month.

After all that time, one of their husbands finally confronted them. What in the world were they doing? What are all the strange transactions in the bank statement? Extra mileage on the car? Where is she going?

Imagine, thirty years of secrets. One husband wonders what’s going on–what’s been going on. He thinks the worst. Is she being unfaithful?

No. His wife and the rest of the nine nanas were thoroughly faithful. Their nighttime adventures were acts of ministry in secrecy.

They met needs. Sometimes for people they knew. Sometimes for complete strangers. They relished the joy of blessing others.–all sorts of ways.

Once the nanas got started, they worked at listening and looking for ways to give–for people with a need they could fill.

Voskamp: “They knew we’re not here to make an impression. We’re here to make a difference.”

It’s the kind of difference people made for me and mine when we were in need. Food on the front porch–I didn’t count how many times. And once–a blue, silk dress for me. A treasure I could not afford had I pilfered my own pennies for years.

Were the husbands angry when they found out about the Nanas’ capers? Yes. They were mad.

“[They w]anted in on the game,” Voskamp tells us. “They wanted in on writing down names and anonymously paying utility bills, delivering pound cakes and pressing beauty into this world.”

Those ladies married well.

And so the conspiracy of blessing others grew.

Perhaps in our day, it’s ill-advised to sneak out in the middle of the night and set off a security system trying to bless someone with a pound cake or the funds for an overdue bill.

But blessing others is always in fashion. And like the nanas, you and I can be creative and secretive about our giving.

We can look and listen and be ready to fill a need.

Day or night.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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14 Replies to “Secrecy in the Night”

  1. Such a beautiful example to all of us. More people need to form secret nana groups to help others. They also remind us that helping others does not need to be publicly done, God sees us and that is enough

  2. Nanas sharing God’s love in secret! What a wonderful blessing to always be on the lookout for ways to help others, most of all, in the hidden ways that go unnoticed by the masses. Give us this kind of love, we pray, oh Lord!

  3. I read that story from Ann Voskamp. And it teared me up . . . the beauty of those nanas’ hearts. May we each be intentional about giving in secret and pointing hearts to the Lord.

  4. The nana capers are wonderful, Nancy. I like the secret-factor to it all and remaining anonymous as much as possible. This has happened to our family before as well…a blessing without knowing the blesser. I like how you said blessing others is always in fashion! Yes…yes it is!

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