Have you heard of the term social invisibility? It’s a term used to describe certain people in society who have been separated or systematically ignored by the majority culture. As a result, these people who are marginalized feel neglected or invisible in society (Wikipedia).
Invisible people are victims of systemic racism, abuse, inner-city decay, discrimination, generational poverty, and trauma. According to an article in the Huffington Post, “invisible people all too often have been deemed by society as “scum.”
I heard someone say,
“The only thing worse than being alone is being invisible because it feels as if you’re dead and forgotten by others.”
When I think of the ‘Invisibles’ in our society, I think of the immigrant and indigenous. The orphan (youth in foster care) and the widow. The homeless, destitute and the displaced. The refugee, the infertile and the mentally ill. The deaf, mute and those with autism. The ex-offenders and minorities. It’s the people living in da’ hood (public housing projects) and living off of public welfare. The INVISIBLES in our society are the disadvantaged, disenfranchised, disconnected and the distraught.
If you are reading this and identify with one of the invisible people groups mentioned above OR if you’d say to me “Radhika, I can relate to feeling invisible because I don’t feel like anyone cares about me”—I want you to know I care about you. But most importantly, GOD CARES ABOUT YOU! People may turn away from you BUT GOD TURNS TOWARD YOU!!
People may have shamed you, despised you, rejected you, laughed at you, shunned you, ignored you and avoided you– but I’m here to remind you that GOD SEES YOU and He receives you! He is not blind to the hurt and pain others have caused you. And just like Sarai who humiliated Hagar, to the point that she shrank back and ran away (Gen. 16:8-10), God went after Hagar out and gave her a blessing.
God saw Hagar’s social rejection and suffering (Gen. 16:11). And He sees and hears YOUR suffering. He knows all about those who have caused you pain and shame. He knows who did you wrong and how they made you feel–unwanted, unloved and unworthy of love, acceptance, and belonging. But God wants you to remember that you are not forgotten. He knows your name. He sees your tears. He is aware of your pain. And He wants to bless you. Just like Hagar.
And just because others fail to see your value, genius, and giftedness, that doesn’t make you worthless. Even Jesus, in all of His glory and divine greatness, was not seen as the son of God. He was despised and rejected by people who failed to see Him as the Savior of the world. Even God in the flesh was invisible to people in his day.
So please. Don’t get upset or disappointed when others fail to notice, support or believe in you. Hold your head up high knowing you are fully loved, seen, heard and cherished by your Creator. And although you may feel invisible to people, you’re NEVER invisible to God!