Thursday, August 28, 2008

To you, I am invisible

Recently I had a very meaningful conversation that taught me a lesson far beyond the conversation that actually took place. “To you, I am invisible.” I was looked directly in the eyes and told that every time you walk by you act as if I’m invisible. You may even look at me, look directly into my eyes but not acknowledge that I exist. I may be in the wrong place and in need of someone to just point me to where I need to go, we may have even talked before and you know who I am and where I belong, but yet you leave me there wondering where I need to be. You leave me thinking that I must have messed up. You left me thinking that it was my mistake. You could have simply said three words and given me the answer but instead you looked directly at me and ignored me. This conversation continued with her say how Christians should not act this way and that this community of believers should be THE place where people are not invisible. That this should be THE place where people know they are loved and encouraged. She said that you need to do better at this and you need can not go on treating people like this. The conversation ended with encouraging words and I walked away understanding what she said but feeling exhausted from the conversation.

From this random encounter I learned how someone could feel when he or she experiences being invisible to a community with searching eyes. The sadness and hopelessness of being in the room but completely excluded. I learned how we need to be intentional in our interaction and to always be sure to treat others as important friends who mean as much to us as they do the Lord.

Through this random encounter I also learned that a little communication slip could cause you to completely lose your audience. One little grammatical error, such as saying you inclusively when you mean exclusively can cause the one with whom you are talking, to feel invisible or defensive.

So as you walk around, keep your head held high. Talk with those around you, be a friend to those in need, be the Samaritan Neighbor. And as you talk with those around you, remember to communicate effectively so as not to lose your point in taking a stand.

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