Don’t Make me Invisible . . .

6 Feb

3 John 1:9, “I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.”

What a sad verse.  This man, Diotrephes, refused to receive the Apostle John, the very man who, when he was young, had been such an intimate friend of Christ that he reclined with his head on Christ’s chest at the Last Supper.

Do we ever cop an attitude like that with our treasured brothers and sisters in Christ?

I am afraid so.  How do I know?  Because I am made of the same flesh as everyone else.  And I know one scenario that hardly anyone among us can stomach graciously.

Try a night when, for whatever reason, you seem to be invisible to the other members of your church.

Are you squirming yet?  I am.

I am squirming because I remember a time this happened and how poorly I handled it.

It was during my cancer treatments.  I already was struggling to have enough energy to get through my days.  My emotions were sometimes a mess.

However, that does not excuse the fact that I nearly had a meltdown because I walked into church on a Wednesday evening and no one spoke to me.

I remember standing, after the service, up where our orchestra sits, watching people around the auditorium animatedly talking to each other.

I had nothing to say.  And no one had anything to say to me.  I was crushed . . .

I immediately began to think that, if I were already invisible, with no one aware I was watching them, then maybe I could just stand there and get an idea of what it would be like at church if I died of the cancer I was fighting.

And, yes, I got the idea that life would continue on without me.  As it does when anyone dies.

I was so undone by my thoughts that I grasped at the first person who walked by, as though I were an exhausted, drowning swimmer.

Why did I need to do that?  I honestly believe it is good for us to feel invisible every once in a while.  It shows us that life, especially life at church, is not all about us.

But we can’t handle it well, at least I can’t.  Why is that?

I believe it stems from our desire and our need to have the preeminence.  We need to matter to others so much that we will make a fuss if we gather that we don’t matter, even just for a few minutes.

Thing is, in Christ we already matter.  So grasping at people is not only ultimately unsatisfying, but it is totally unnecessary.

Now to just let that soak into our hearts . . . yours and mine.  God helping us!


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