Back when I was young, there are two instances where I can remember that I wanted to be invisible. One would be when we were playing the game hide and seek, where someone is “it” and they have to find all the others who are hiding. That’s for sure a time where it would come in handy to be invisible. The other instance is when I wanted to be like the “Invisible Man,” for those who are unaware of the Invisible Man here’s an synopsis: a doctor is researching a new drug and when he takes it he turns invisible (there were downsides to this too, but let’s leave that part out). It may have come in handy at times to be invisible like that so perhaps you could be invisible and help solve a crime – voila, instant hero!
But, by and large, no one really wants to be invisible. We don’t perceive any great benefit in people not seeing us or not acknowledging us. It’s not fun being treated like you don’t exist. Unless you’re rich and famous, you can easily become one of the “invisible people.”
For those of you who do not know myself, or my husband, we own our own big rig and we make our living out on the road, primarily taking Broadway shows all over the USA and sometimes into Canada. We are an integral part of the show, but by and large, we are invisible. Often we are not acknowledged, and to some, we are faceless people just in and out. It took me a while to realize that I was one of the invisibles, and when I did, it gave me an entirely different outlook. My situation caused me to look at others, especially in their work environment, to see them for who they are – valuable. I began to really appreciate people who wait on tables in restaurants, those who empty the garbage, those who mop the floors, those behind the counter in the convenience store, and others with whom we have brief interactions. I want them to know that they are not invisible, that they matter just as much as any other person. I make a point of thanking those I see in the many truck stops that we visit who are doing the thankless and never ending jobs, such as sweeping the floor, washing the windows, cleaning the bathrooms, etc. You would be surprised to see the smiles on their faces when they know that someone has acknowledged them and thanked them for doing their jobs. And, I find that kindness goes a long way – it certainly does with me.
But there’s one relationship in which I have never been, nor will I ever be invisible. That of course is in my relationship with my Lord. Look at the book of Esther, Chapter 4, verse 14: Mordecai turns to Queen Esther to intercede for the Jewish people and says the following “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” What a powerful verse! Let me paraphrase the part that resounds with me: who knows whether God has placed you here, in this situation, for such as time as this? God has placed me here at this time for a specific purpose. God has placed you here at this time for a specific purpose. Some of us know our purposes, and some of us do not know our purposes.
I may never truly learn my purpose, nor may you. I think that there’s many of us who simply don’t really know what it is that God wants us to do. It may be that you and I are already living out our purpose and we don’t even realize it! It may be during hindsight that we realize what our God given purpose is, which is what I think happened to Queen Esther. She was faithful and despite fear, she followed through on faith – in doing so she saved the Jewish people. She was a hero, but she didn’t know her purpose at the time.
And for those of us who are struggling with feeling unusable and unnoticed, we should take heart. Because God knows who you are, He loves you, He knows your triumphs, He knows your struggles, He keeps each and every one of our tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). He knows your name, and I am sure that He put each of us here for such a time as this. All we have to do is to be faithful, whatever plan God has for our lives, He will bring it to fruition.