Have you ever been in a room full of people--say some social event -with no one to talk to? You look around a sea of people and finally find a familiar face and walk over to speak to them. As you engage in conversation, you notice their eyes darting around the room. You get the distinct impression they are looking for anyone else but you to speak with. You begin to question, what is wrong with me. Are they searching for someone more socially prominent? Is your conversation that incredibly dull?
There was a recent occasion, in a room filled with people, some I knew and many I did not when something similar happened. I walked up to a group of people I knew and began to talk with them. As I stood there someone walked up, and stood in front of me to join the group. It was as if I was invisible.
We are all searching for a place to fit in and I would dare say the person who walked in front of me was doing the same. They were just trying to find a place with familiar faces to relieve the awkwardness of standing alone.
Some days, I felt like this in church. It is not easy to walk into a room by yourself and sit alone. I called myself the "Invisible Woman" while living in Fort Worth. At least there it was understandable, cities are not easy for even life long city dwellers. Walking in a room and finding someone you know is the exception many times in a large city. In a town where you have lived over 50 years, it is rare to go anywhere and not see someone you know. I still struggle with feeling invisible at times. As if others are looking straight through me.
This post is not about -POOR ME. I have learned tricks to deal with feeling invisible. There usually is someone else in the crowd standing alone to introduce yourself to. AND people watching is my favorite sport!
I spent some time talking this over with a friend recently. They reminded me--if I feel invisible--think about entire segments of the population who feel like we are staring right through them. They become invisible to us--we don't see them nor realize their struggles. It is easier to find a familiar face than to listen to a story that is difficult to hear. We walk around them, walk right by them. and more than likely, will not remember we even saw them. We are playing a part in the Samaritan's story. We go out of our way to avoid them, ignore their pain, and walk on by. We become Believers who stroll on by ignoring the plight of the fallen. We leave the wounded behind and walk on by.