Invisible. Have you ever felt invisible? Throughout my life, I’ve had the distinct sensation of feeling that way more often than not. Being the person in the background — the one on the edge of the photo, if I’m in the photo at all. Not often asked what I think, not frequently sought out. Often at an event it’s almost like I’m not even there at all. I truly seem to be that unremarkable!
It can be pretty demoralizing, and yet I know I’m not the only one. “Invisible” people have just as many thoughts, opinions, and feelings as our flashier cohorts. We just don’t post them all on Facebook or tell you about them when we meet at a school function. We’re just … quiet.
Feeling invisible isn’t a new phenomenon. Emily Dickinson, 19th century poet, experienced it.
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us -don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
Over the years, as I’ve struggled with my invisible status, what has helped most is to realize that I’m quite visible to Jesus. He sees and cares about the quiet among us just as much as the ones who are out there grabbing all the candy.
Some verses I like:
When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
1 Samuel 16:7
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever-do not abandon the works of your hands.
1 John 3:1
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
In fact, in God’s upside-down, last-shall-be-first economy, I wouldn’t be surprised if He had a special place in His heart for the invisible of this world.
How about you? Are you visible — or invisible (and if you’ve never thought about this, I’m guessing you’re not invisible ;)).