I recently read something that was written by a man who was painfully describing his feelings on being invisible. He described himself as divorced, stocky, balding and middle-aged and stated that women look past him everywhere he goes. He was clearly feeling deflated and unhappy with his perceived invisibility and he explained that he didn’t know how to change this situation. Honestly, I was very surprised that a man was expressing these feelings. I fully expected the author to be a middle-aged woman with an expanding waistline and thinning hair. It was an eye-opening read, especially coming from a man. Yes, they actually go through that, too!
Who among us over 50 can’t relate to his plight? We get a little older, we gain some weight, we see the lines in our faces becoming more defined and deeper and the gray hairs come in faster than we are able to pluck out. Yes, growing older fades our beauty into a memory and reminds of that we’ve left more years behind us than remain in front of us. This man was speaking from a place of wanting to be seen by women as a vibrant and desirable male – someone who was still sort after and attractive. Who wouldn’t want that, right? What woman doesn’t want to still turn heads in her 40’s and 50’s? What man doesn’t wish he could have a woman’s undivided attention when he talked? Becoming invisible as we age can be daunting and downright depressing!
As I considered this question of invisibility, my spirit spoke loud and clear to me and put another perspective on this situation. I am thankful for being invisible at times. Being invisible has protected me from harm in a world that is violent, chaotic and not a very nice or safe place for women. I am thankful to God for that. I am grateful for invisibility as I enter and exit my home early in the mornings or late at night. I am thankful for invisibility from attacks by dangerous stray dogs as I walk outside sometimes for exercise when the weather is too pretty to be inside the gym. I am grateful for invisibility as I pass a car accident that occurred just minutes before I got there. I am thankful for invisibility to people who mean me no good and to men who would deceive and hurt me – I wasn’t always invisible to them. I am thankful that God hides me away from drama and gossip and from shallow and superficial people. They may try to enter my hemisphere, but they never stay long – I can spot them coming! I am shouting from the roof tops, “Thank you God that I no longer entertain stupidity and pettiness!” Pass me by, please!
I know that I may be “visible” to all of these things, but it is clearly God’s protection and mercy that keeps me invisible to them – and each day, I give thanks to Him for doing so. “You, Lord, are the light that keeps me safe….In times of trouble, you will protect me…hide me in your tent and keep me safe.” Psalm 27. For me, it’s about thanking God for the doors he keeps closed, as well as the ones that he opens. If being invisible keeps those doors closed, then that’s just fine with me.
I also know that we are never invisible to the loving eyes that are meant to see us or the hearts that are meant to love us. His/Her eyes will find us and treasure us at the perfect time. That is what I would have told the author of the piece that I read. I would have reminded him that he is only invisible to those who don’t deserve to see him in the first place, and to be thankful as he waits for his loving queen to set her eyes on him and vice versa.
By the way, I still turn a few heads myself and for a vibrant, energetic middle-age chick, that’s a good thing! We don’t want to be totally invisible to some admiring glances – they do wonderful things for our egos!