When our country was embroiled in its fight for independence, there was a small ring of spies who helped bring about victory. The Culper Ring was a real spy story set during the war and it had all the elements: brave, but nervous participants, suspicious minds, work done under cloak of darkness, even notes written in invisible ink. This is the story of one of these American spies, a woman known only as Agent 355.
The assignment she chose to accept needed the most mundane item: her clothesline. When whale boat captain Caleb Brewster needed the positions for the enemy’s soldiers, Agent 355 knew she had laundry to dry. Hanging a black petticoat on her line, easily seen from the sound where the ship waited, along with handkerchiefs in number between one and six to signal which of the sound’s six coves to enter for vital information, 355 faithfully played her part.
Legends prevail about the identity of this brave woman. Many believe her name was Anna Strong, a New York delegate’s wife. No one really knows for sure, however, so this lady is remembered in number only. But it doesn’t matter that her name isn’t remembered in history books, she did what she was called to do.
Was it the woman’s faith in God? Did she know that whatever the outcome of her days as a spy, she could rest in the fact that she had allowed God to work through her to help her countrymen? It is easy to believe that this brave lady had faith and courage and followed God’s purpose, not relying on accolades, or praises, or fame. Perhaps most importantly, she possessed the wisdom to understand that she didn’t need to be acknowledged in the public’s eye even after the war was finally won.
When we give our life to Christ and choose to serve Him, it is wise for us to understand that we may be called to a life that is quiet, one where we work at a task that God is overseeing, but not many others see. Some say this is the highest form of service in God’s sight, so be encouraged if this describes your story:
Work hard and cheerfully at all you do, just as though you were working for the Lord and not merely for your masters, remembering that it is the Lord Christ who is going to pay you, giving you your full portion of all he owns. He is the one you are really working for. Colossians 3:23-24
After the defeat of the British, Major George Beckwith admitted: ” Washington did not really outfight the British, he simply outspied us!” If the noble general himself were here, surely he would acknowledge in thankfulness that he indeed had help. One of his helpers has managed to stay out of the light since that day, a brave woman known still as Agent 355.
In times when you feel forgotten or unacknowledged, take heart, no servant goes unseen by the Father when doing His will.