From Invisible to Transparent

Have you ever felt invisible? Boy, I have. Sometimes I just don't want to be noticed and it's okay with me to feel invisible. Other times, though, it's perplexing. Every day I walk the dog past a neighbor's house. This is a fairly new neighbor and she is frequently in her front yard, so as I walk by (being "neighborly") I smile and wave and say, "hello," but I get no response. I mean, she looks at me, but it's as if she doesn't see me. It makes me wonder. Am I invisible?

The same thing happened to me when I was in college. One of my classmates was someone I had shared a cabin with at summer camp. We had known each other for years, so when I passed her on the sidewalk I would smile and say, "Hi, Anna!" But I would get no response. I knew that she knew me and she looked me right in the eye, but she offered no sign of recognition. After awhile, I gave up and pretended I didn't see her either. Then one day during my sophomore year I was running down the hall in the dorm (we lived on the same hall) and I almost tripped when I heard her say, "Hi, Mimi!" Startled, I stopped, turned around and said, "Oh! Hi, Anna."

Now I have no idea why she suddenly decided it was acceptable to notice me. I had not changed my behavior or who I was or the way I dressed or who I hung out with. I can't explain it and it really doesn't matter. It just happened.

And I hate to say it, but sometimes it seems that God can't see me either, especially when life is a struggle, when I say to God, "just use me," and still can't find the clarity I seek. But I've learned that God's silence has a purpose. I have learned that when God is silent I need to be silent, too. I need to be still, to trust, to watch and wait. God is not aloof or distant. God is just drawing me into the silence where I can be emptied of my "too muchness" and filled with his loving spirit, transforming my invisibility to transparency.

"Be still and know that I am God!" -- Psalm 46:10