No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.”
Matthew 5:15 (NLT)
Several years ago a movie called The Fantastic Four came out, featuring a team of Super Heroes. One of the members was a woman named ‘Invisible Girl’, who could turn—you guessed it—invisible. While the movie was enjoyable, I wasn’t all that
impressed with this woman’s super power. You see, for many years, I myself was an ‘Invisible Girl’.
My family had money problems when I was in High School. By the time I was fifteen I knew how to field a creditor’s phone call, and what and what not to tell them. In today’s depressed economy, this isn’t all that uncommon, but when I was a teen it was unusual. No one in my school could relate to my situation, and consequently I felt a great deal of shame. I was different. I was odd. So I became invisible.
It’s not all that difficult. I showed up for classes, but I purposely faded into the background. A few kids made fun of me, but for the most part they just ignored me. I mastered the art of walking into a room without causing anyone to look up. I got good but not great grades. I slipped through high school unnoticed.
But here is the thing about invisibility—though no one can see you, you really can’t see anyone else, either. I did not let anyone know me, and consequently, I didn’t know them. You had to be ‘seen’ in order to ‘see’. They might have been hurting too, but I never knew. I was so wrapped up in my own hurts that I could not see theirs. And, by keeping my shame bottled behind my wall of invisibility, I was only making it worse. The only way to heal my hurt was to become visible to other people, wounds and all. And that was something I wasn’t willing to do.
Things were different in college. I was encouraged to write, and somehow having my ‘voice’ seen and praised in print helped the rest of me to become visible. Also, the Lord led me to a group of friends who had super powers of their own: namely joy, acceptance and love. They truly saw me—even the hurting, shameful parts—and they still cared about me. Forty years later, we are still friends.
It’s easy to become invisible, especially when the busy world around you doesn’t take the time to notice you. But you need to be ‘seen’ to be healed. You can’t do it by yourself. God gave us other people to help and encourage us. Even Jesus traveled with a pack of good friends.
God made each of us in His image, and we are beautiful. Do not let any past hurts rob you of being seen. Let others help you, like good friends or the prayer ministers at the Glennon House. Because when we are visible, we shine!