“Thank you, Amanda.” My daughter spoke the simple expression with a smile. The words seemed to startle the girl with the nametag who was filling my water glass. “You’re welcome,” was her quick response, but her eyes had changed. She had been noticed. The restaurant was noisy and crowded. This young woman moved quickly from table to table, filling waters, clearing dishes and flying under most people’s radar. I watched to see how many people acknowledged Amanda. Amanda apparently was invisible.
Invisible people surround us. People who exist on our periphery, who drift in and out of our everyday lives unseen, unnoticed, unacknowledged. They may be in the coffee shop, grocery store, across the street or next door. But the relationship may not be so casual. The unseen could be in our own families. Those whose existence has become so routine that we no longer acknowledge their value.
In Galatians 6:10, God calls us to intentionality. “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people.” In order to do good to those around us, we have to first notice them. To stop and realize who they are. They are created in the image of God. They are passionately loved by the same God who loves us.
Jesus tangibly showed us what doing good to those around us looks like. “Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matt 20:26-28) It means choosing to serve based on our view of others. True serving is an attitude followed by an action.
Most of us wrestle with relational issues. When we are most honest with ourselves, we might admit that many of those issues are a result of putting ourselves first, of seeing ourselves as better than others.
When do invisible people become visible? When we choose to serve them. Who are the invisible people are in your life? Your neighbor? Your children? Your spouse? What if, this week, you chose to make the invisible, visible. To not just acknowledge them, but to serve them? To consider them as more important than yourself? You may begin to see them in a whole new way.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Phil. 2:3 NIV