Eighteen hundred women, most in need of the restroom, some needing coffee, and some wanting to browse the merchandise on sale, spilled out of the sanctuary into the foyer during the break between conference sessions.
Estrogen brushed shoulders as they navigated their way to their chosen destinations. Perfume filled the air as did the smell of freshly brewed coffee, loud chatter mingled with even louder overhead piped music. All in all the scene was one of nosy congestion. Happy. Excited. Nosy congestion.
I was in the crowd still exiting the sanctuary. Part of the foyer was in view and that is when I saw her. I knew this lady. She is intelligent, sweet, generous, kind and born again. She was use to attending church, but not this church.
Frozen like a stature her back hugged the wall as if trying to become one with the painted sheetrock. Her gaze was fixed not blinking, her usual sweet smile was nowhere to be seen but instead drawn tight skin formed lines on her normally soft face.
She looked terrified!
Women walked past her as if she wasn’t there. Invisible! Not seen! Not noticed! Faceless!
But God noticed. He saw her. He had her in His view. He brought her to my attention.
Nathanael said to Jesus, How do You know me? [How is it that You know these things about me?] Jesus answered him, Before [ever] Phillip called you, when you were still under the fig tree, I saw you. John 1:48 AMPC
I made my way through the crowd to her and spoke her name. Her eyes softened and her mouth formed a relieved smile. She told me she was waiting for her friend to come out of the restroom. She said she was fine but that look I saw told me otherwise. What I had seen was a terrified child.
I don’t think I will forget the look of terror on her face and maybe I’m not suppose to. It serves as a reminder to look out for the invisible woman. To take note of those around me and help them feel welcome and relaxed. Am I faithful in this endeavor? I wish I could say a resounding yes, but truth is it’s more miss than hit. I’m guilty of being so task focused that I don’t even see the people around me, especially when I’m volunteering for an event.
Soon my church will be holding their annual women’s conference and we are expecting over two thousand attendees. Again this year I have the privilege of volunteering and what a joy it is to serve. You won’t see me on stage. I serve behind the scenes as do most volunteers. Believe me it takes hundreds of behind the scenes volunteers to make a conference.
Pray for me and the other volunteers that we will do our assigned jobs well, that we will not be so task focused that we do not see the women who have joined us at the conference.
Whether it is a church conference, a regular Sunday service, or a weekday small group let us be mindful of the invisible woman and let her know we see her. She is wanted. She is needed. She is no longer invisible.
Looking to Jesus. Living in His radiance.
Do you feel invisible or do you get too focused to notice those around you? Which one are you? Perhaps you hide in business because you feel invisible….done that one myself. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you.
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