This is a column that I think was written from a sad place, and it made me sad.
Pastor Jan Edmiston of the great blog A Church for Staving Artists writes about being middle-aged, wearing flats all the time, being hard-of-hearing and becoming increasingly unemployable. You should read the comments, too.
The only point I want to address from the perspective of this blog’s message is the one Jan makes about being invisible.
We may be introverts. We may be lonely, alone or insecure.
However, as people of God, it is required of us to be absolutely present wherever we are, which requires an engagement with the world that is the opposite of invisible.
How can someone be invisible when they are interacting with others?
How can you be invisible at the dry cleaners when you are greeting the dry cleaner, noticing something about them, smiling, projecting life and love (I mean, if you’re up to it — but let me say that “fake it ’til you make it” is a spiritual practice that eventually creates great vibrancy),thanking them and wishing them a good day?
How can you be invisible when you’re chatting with strangers, looking for ways to connect, and simply refusing to be invisible?
What kind of theology does being invisible come out of?
Are we not told that we are all precious in God’s sight? Are we not told that God so loved the world?
Are we not assured that the very hairs on our heads are counted?
Are we not told that the lowly will be lifted up? That the dead can be brought out of the tomb?
Do we not believe that?
If so, how does it then how does it happen that we accept invisibility for ourselves or anyone else?
You can wear flats. You can feel old (Lord knows we all get there). You can get a hearing aid. You can be sad. You can worry about job prospects as you age. You can grieve parents who died too young.
But don’t you ever, never and I said NEVAH tell me that you’re invisible. If you’re invisible, you’re hiding. Did not Mr. Jesus say that you don’t hide a light under a bushel? Did not Mr. Jesus say that no one puts a lit candle under a basket?
Let your light shine, babies, that it might give light to all the house.
That’s not just a nice little Hallmark sentiment. It’s a vocational obligation. Letting your light shine and being invisible are mutually exclusive.