You can find it discussed regarding the birth order of children and their behavioral tendencies and how they feel about themselves. Children that are in the middle of a family’s birth order may recognize themselves at certain points in their development as the invisible children. The oldest and the youngest get all the attention naturally. Middle children may only get attention from their parents in disciplinary forms when the children behaved negatively.
As we have followed God’s calling and disappeared from a denomination’s radar screen and pursued employment and relationships outside of the ecclesial dictated format, I feel invisible. I’m the youngest in the birth order in my family. We’ve promoted ourselves in order to find employment and to inexpensively advertise the ministry we founded and now direct. Regardless, I feel invisible.
Though dreams are not dependable, I don’t believe, to accurately depict all of my inner feelings, I’ve dreamed on several occasions of being in a group of people engaged in activities, some chaotic and some orderly, but I was never acknowledged or engaged by any of the people. I felt invisible and ignored.
We’re now designated as those who have withdrawn their ordination voluntarily from our denomination. One of the outcomes of this recognition is that home office permits us to withdraw monies we’ve personally contributed to our pension. For this to happen our regional office must send word to home office that we’ve voluntarily turned in our ordination certificates. The funny thing is that April was sent a letter from home office stating that she had turned in her ordination and is permitted to withdraw her funds. I had turned in my certificate months earlier and still was not recognized as having voluntarily quit ministry. It was as if I was invisible.
Have you ever felt invisible? Or have you ever felt visible for the first time because most of your life you’ve felt unseen by most people in your world?
This reminds me of a story in the gospels of a woman who suffered from unrelenting bleeding. In the midst of a large crowd pressing in on Jesus, she knew if could but touch his clothes she could be healed. She did, and she was. Jesus knew of all the people pressing in on him there was one who touched him and power left him to heal her. She was no longer invisible.
She became visible, known, never forgotten, recorded in the gospels and healed. In her invisibility, she became desperate and sought out Jesus as her only hope. Suddenly, invisibility is an asset and not a liability. Invisible as a member of crowd. Visible by her faith and determination to find and encounter Jesus and Jesus alone.
Jesus, you’re my only hope. I will press in to find you, though I remain invisible. I will press in to hear your words and trust in your power, though I am not visible by my world ever present. I will touch your very essence and know of your grace for me, though I feel invisible or alone as I pray or worship in a crowd of believers. Jesus, you’re my only hope. Your power in love and Spirit will fill me and address my needs, and I will experience your love for me as your follower, born-again of your Spirit, and healed of all my diseases by your strips for all. You see me. You know me. You love me. You touched me, and I am whole. Alleluia!