Invisibility is not a superpower
Do you feel like nobody ever sees you? Be reminded that God always does.
We all have been asked the question: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
A - To fly
B - Telepathy
C - Time travel
D - Invisibility
In movies, invisibility is portrayed as this awesome superpower where the character can disappear to protect themselves from a punch, and then reappear on the other side of the room, completely unharmed.
Now imagine if that character was always invisible. How could they connect with anyone?
How could they make friends? How could they live a happy life if no one could see them?
The answer is they couldn’t.
The only reason the superpower of invisibility is cool, is because the character can choose when to use it. It may be fun for a minute not to be seen, but everyone can agree that a whole life of invisibility is really no superpower at all.
To BE invisible in movies = power.
To FEEL invisible in life = pain.
The invisible beggar
Let’s look at a passage of scripture involving a beggar.
Acts 3:1-3: “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer... Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to a temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter and John looked straight at him. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” so the man gave them his attention.”
Consider a few things about life for this beggar. This man was lame; he couldn’t walk or even stand. What this meant is that he would sit on the ground begging. All day.
I once met a homeless man who told me, “Even if people don’t have anything to give me, I still wish they would smile at me and acknowledged my presence.”
This would’ve been pretty similar to the experience of the beggar in Acts 3. Day after day people treating him as if he was invisible.
Feeling invisible today
I think many of us relate to the beggar more than we realize.
Not in the sense that we’re homeless or lame. No, we’re like the beggar because we can feel invisible. Sometimes this is self–inflicted, we try to be invisible to cope with our insecurities. However, at the end of the day, trying to be invisible just leaves us feeling miserable.
When I was in High School, I thought I was invisible - like nobody noticed me. But I also felt like I was constantly being judged.
How is that possible? How can someone who’s unseen be judged?
Soon I realized that the way I acted encouraged others to treat me as invisible. When people asked me questions I’d give short answers with no follow ups. When people looked at me I wouldn’t look back.
The reason why I wanted to be invisible is because I didn’t want my own insecurities on display.
It wasn’t that they were judging me, they were simply going with what their intuition led them to believe; that I wanted to be invisible. And they were right. They were ignoring me because they thought that’s what I wanted, when really what I wanted was the opposite. My insecurities and attempt to be invisible led the students to thinking that I wanted to be ignored.
We negatively interpret people’s ideas of us due to what our own insecurities tell us.
So, I tried something new.
I went out into the world, intentionally looked up, and engaged with the people walking by. I decided to live a visible life. I found that when I engaged with people, they engaged back. Sometimes this wouldn’t happen, at high-school I encountered other kids who didn’t want to be seen. They like me wanted to be invisible, hiding their own insecurities by hiding themselves.
What should we do? Why should we look up? Why should we live visible?
You have been made in the image of God. You are loved and known. Even if you feel like no one else sees you, God does!
You have integrity and worth not reliant on your performance in the classroom or the sporting field. Your integrity and worth are rooted in being made in God’s image. Jesus gave his life for you.
You have worth!
Given all this, we can engage with others knowing that what they think of you doesn’t define who you are.
It's what God says about us that really matters.
Once we look up like the beggar did, we’ll be more sensitive to the ones with their heads still down. We’ll get the opportunity to be like Peter and John and engage with the downcast. This is a whole of life thing, whether we’re in school hallways, at a coffee shop or in the workplace.
Test It Out:
Remember God sees you and loves you, and dedicate a week to engaging people around you by doing simple things like:
- Smiling at people in the hallways
- Calling the barista at a coffee shop by their name
- Saying “have a good day” to the cashier at the store
- Doing a random act of kindness
God wants you to have the courage to raise your heads like the beggar. Understand the value, worth and integrity that you have been created with.