Have you ever felt invisible?
Sometimes I wish I could be invisible. Like when my kids suddenly get quiet and I want to know what they’re doing but also not interrupt them if they’re not being mischievous. Or when I want to check on them to see if they’re asleep, or if I am checking on them and one of them suddenly pops up, out of bed, and startles me into dropping to the floor like I’m an intruder.
There are certainly times I’ve felt invisible, like when the mechanic ignored me and pointedly spoke to my husband only. Something about motherhood, especially, makes me feel invisible. One mom even did an experiment once: she walked around all day long with her baby, and the whole time she was only wearing one earring. Not a single person commented on it- theoretically, because everyone looks to the baby and not the mom. It’s a part of the maternal health issue our country is facing.
I once read a story about someone deep in the throes of depression considering suicide. They said they decided that if no one acknowledged them that day- a smile, a wave, any acknowledgement- they would proceed with their plan to commit suicide. Thankfully someone did smile and wave at a stranger that day, and instead of committing suicide this person chose to share their story to show what an impact a small gesture can have.
While feeling invisible can be a terrible emotion, it’s also a kind of superpower. Not because you can rob a bank- I’m pretty sure security cameras wouldn’t find me to be invisible. But it does allow me to see other people who may also feel invisible. Neighbors who live alone, anyone you see in public that everyone else averts their eyes from. Feeling invisible myself has opened my eyes to the realm of my fellow invisibles.
This isn’t a new phenomena- society was excluding its outliers long before we all walked along staring down at our phones. The Bible not only reminds us we are not alone, for God is always with us, but also teaches us to open our eyes and be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who may feel invisible. If we let His light shine through us, we have the power to brighten someone’s day, or even change their life.
Of course, there are Bible verses on this topic. Here are my favorites, for whether you’re seeing the invisible or feel as though you are:
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25: 35-40
“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these stars? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” Isaiah 40:26 (NIV)
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” -Deuteronomy 31:8
To be the hands and feet of Jesus is no small task. But He has equipped us and has opened our eyes for a reason. So if you see someone and you feel the inclination, the nudge, heed it. I’m not the most outgoing, especially to strangers. Sometimes I know just a smile of encouragement will do. Other times, I feel the need to speak. So I say something. I compliment their clothes, or make eye contact and say anything small. Crazy weather we’re having! It’s cold in here. Love your hat! Sometimes it ends there. They smile and nod. Or, if they’re lonely, I’ve opened the door to conversation.
I’d like to leave you with a song that reminds me of this experience. Here it is: