Ever Feel Invisible?
“Sometimes I come in the church and leave and it’s as if I were invisible.”
That was one of the saddest comments I received back from a survey sent out last week to folks who have passed through the doors of The Gathering, our Sunday morning contemporary service at church. More troublesome is that it was completely anonymous, so I can’t tell whether it was written by a guest, a regular attender…or Jesus. Trust me, if I knew Jesus’s email address, I would have surely sent Him the survey too.
Question #1. How often do you attend the Gathering? What makes You come to a church on Sunday?… My guess is that for this question, He might break out the number 2 pencil and begin to draw faces. Yours and mine. He comes because He loves us.
But, Jesus, come to church and leave and even feel like no one sees Him? That’s a tough one, and yet it forces me to ask tough questions. In all honesty, I’ve felt that before. God where are you? It’s Sunday. You’re supposed to be here. Right? Maybe on some Sunday’s He chooses to go down the hall and play in the children’s area. (Maybe.) I believe He’s visible in a million ways, and yet our eyes just fail to see Him. I don’t know, but I do know that He doesn’t want to be invisible, and He longs for us to find Him and follow Him.
In fact, He says of those feeding the poor and living out their faith in a tangible way, “If you’ve done it for the least of these, you’ve done it unto me.” (Matt 25) He goes on to say, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” John 14:7 And then finally Colossians 1:15 tells us that “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” My friend, that’s a God who wants to be seen… wants to be experienced. Always a mystery, and yet in Christ revealed.
After over three decades of sitting on a stage trying to point people to Jesus every Sunday morning, I’ve seen thousands of people walk into a room looking, searching, and hoping for a glimpse of the One we call the Messiah, Jesus. I’ve led the song, “Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I want to see you” thousands of times, and yet it’s dawning on me that He wants to see me too. And in seeing Him, we absolutely MUST see them. The lost, the lonely, the confused. The weak, the doubting, and the rebellious…All of which I have been, am still at times, and struggle not to be.
My prayer for us is that our eyes are open with full expectation of seeing Jesus, seeing Him in our neighbor, and most of all, to first be seen in all our scars, failures and shortcomings by the One who offers second chances to turn back toward Him today. The Bible states, “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the door locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Wow, talk about a pretty good start to the week.
PS. To whoever wrote those words, I’m sorry and thank you for your voice.