It was a rainy day and we were bustling to get under the overhang of a popular ice creamery. The line was out the door but the crowd was rearranging themselves to all fit under the shelter. People were noticing that some were still halfway out in the rain so made room for them, there were smiles and talk of how great this place was with discussions of what tasty treat they were going to indulge. It was a little community all focused on the fun of the moment. As the crowd moved in to the ice cream place, there was an interesting space given to one man with his back pushed tight against the wall. It was as if there was force field around him that made him invisible, for people did not even seem to glance at him. Maybe they noticed him in their peripheral vision or gave him a quick glance. Regardless, he was just standing there, looking down, hands in his pockets, shoulders shrugged as if he was trying pull into himself to keep warm, not saying a word…it’s as if he felt he was invisible, too…for no one was interacting with him.
Our little party had just a few minutes before our table was ready and while now inside, I kept noticing this guy. Still nobody stopped to engage this man in conversation. Yes, he looked like he had been on the streets, a little unkempt, and I’m sure people were not wanting the discomfort and awkwardness of being asked for money. One of my kids asked me what I was looking at, I told them about what I was observing, and without thinking I said I’m going to talk to the guy.
I went out and put my hand out and said, “Hi, I’m Mike what’s your name?” It took him a longer than normal time to respond but he shook my hand and we started to chat. I learned a little about his life, he was not homeless, but did need some money, but that was not his major concern, what he really wanted was a little interaction with someone. He did say he felt invisible, but did not know how to really start a conversation and felt he did not want to bother people, so he just stood there, feeling more and more unseen. We talked a bit more and he really thanked me for noticing him and taking the time to have a conversation with him. That little interaction made a difference that day.
As He walked off I could not help but think there are a lot of people who feel just like him, invisible. Have you ever felt that way? I know I have. It seems the stresses and issues and problems of life tend to pull us into isolation and away from many good interactions, even interactions from God. The truth is The Lord does notice us.
Psalm 139:1-4 O LORD, You have searched me and known me! 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You discern my thoughts from afar. 3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
We are not invisible to the Lord. He is ‘acquainted’ with all our ways, meaning to be familiar with or intimately known. The Lord knows you. He even knit you together inside your mom.
Psalm 139:13-15 13 For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.1 Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
We are not invisible. We are known and loved.
Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.
Isaiah 49:15 Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.
This is a good reminder, but also a good challenge. Since God notices us and seeks to interact with us through reading His words, the Bible, and prayer (talking to God), we ought to notice and interact with others as well. We may even be the avenue God uses to communicate His love and care to others. How amazing is that!?! The Bible calls that being ‘hospitable.’
1 Peter 4:9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
The word hospitality means to be kind to people you don’t know. Yes always be cautions, for we live in a crazy world. Yet, when appropriate, a little interaction goes a long way. Maybe God can use you to make a difference in another’s life even today.
Church can be a place to soak in all of who God is and interact with Him. Church can also be a place to interact with others. If you are not already connected to a church, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or one of our branch churches in either Los Alamitos or Garden Grove this week. Our website has all the information you would need. www.cypresschurch.net . We would love to interact with you!
Seeking to make others visible with you,