I tend to read the places in Scripture such as, “Peter, James, John, and two others” and think I would have been one of those guys—the two others. I was there, present, but the writer didn’t happen to catch my name or I just didn’t make the impression that three other guys did.
I think a lot of us guys struggle with being physically visible, but feeling very invisible. Have you ever been in a meeting or a room with a number of people and asked yourself, “Does anyone know I’m here? What if I just left right now? Would anyone notice? Would it matter?”
Now, when we feel that way—and most of us do far more than we want to admit—we typically take one of two directions. A popular method is to demand that you are not invisible. Make noise, throw around some testosterone, say something bravado, or start quoting your resume´. When some guys get intimidated or aren’t quite sure what to say, but know they need to speak, they’ll start reading their resume´ out loud. “Well, for ten years I was the blah, blah, blah at blah, blah company and then I got offered a position at the blah blah, so I know a thing or two about [insert whatever topic is being discussed].
Feeling invisible in any room is insecurity taking over and when insecurity takes over, our character is tested—yet oddly, on display at the same time.
Here’s the other popular response to feeling invisible as a man—make yourself disappear completely. “Okay, so I’m invisible to you guys. I’ll show you, I really will be!” Now, sometimes that means disappearing physically, but sometimes it’s just an emotional checkout. Sometimes, it’s just to stop speaking and engaging. This could last for a few hours or many years. Some of you grew up with a physically present dad who was very invisible emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. That’s why when you start feeling invisible, you get tempted to act like him. You saw it modeled and it is a viable option. Some of us had a dad literally disappear and, man, that’s tough to get around.
So, consider your recent moments of high visibility. Those are great, right? But fairly infrequent. But then go to the other end and think about the quiet, lonely moments of invisibility. How do you respond? Get loud or quiet? Scream in public or cry in private? Read your resume or blend into the wall?
A huge temptation and a card that the enemy plays on us is that God must think we’re invisible too. “God, I can’t see You in my life right now. Can you even see me? Do I exist to you? I believe in You, but do you believe in me anymore? Have I messed up that bad?”
The next time you feel invisible and your character is being tested for a response, try, try, try to focus on the fact that there is a God Who always sees you, no matter who doesn’t. He never takes His eyes off you, no matter who does.
Let’s turn this whole thing in our favor now—Invisibility can actually be a beautiful reminder that our job as men is to die and allow Christ to be visible through us. So, gentlemen, embrace your invisibility and read Christ’s resume´ to everyone who will listen. Your God not only sees you—He knows your name!
Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ. —Colossians 3:3-4 MSG