This detail from the Window for the Apostle Paul and the Man from Macedonia shows a very human figure standing with his arm reaching out in a gesture beckoning help from another. We have no name for this man; his identity is described in this way: “9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ‘come over to Macedonia and help us.’”
He has no name, he is a man from Macedonia who appears in a vision to Paul while Paul is sound asleep. Upon arriving in Macedonia, Paul and his companions meet with a group of women and Lydia becomes one of the main characters. The Man from Macedonia, disappears from the story. This is just like the narrator of the book of Acts.
In chapter 9, after Paul has a vision of Jesus he is taken to the house of “Judas on Straight Street”; and Ananias is instructed to meet Paul and transport him to his own house. Here, in Chapter 16, The Man from Macedonia is an instrument the “Spirit of Jesus” uses to get Paul and Lydia together. What a powerful message this window communicates. God uses a man with no name to help proclaim the work being done through Lydia, the Seller of Purple.
The small house in the background of the window suggests that Paul is being invited into a community; the bright red suggests some kind of intense work will be engaged in this place. The green at the feet of the man suggests growth and life. When we feel somewhat neglected and overlooked in our own work and ministry, we would do well to spend an hour studying this window and asking how God might be using us as a voice to call others forward into a more visible ministry. Let us pray for that today:
Dear Spirit of Jesus who enabled Paul to hear the plea from an unnamed man in Macedonia, be present with us to help us to know that as we are called into your service, that if it be your will, we are ready to step back into the shadows in order that other persons may step forward into the light to proclaim your name with boldness. Use us as you will, we pray in the Spirit of Jesus who led Paul to Macedonia, and who will likewise lead us into your will. AMEN.
By Al Caldwell, Retired Faculty, editor