Uniform of Invisibility

Wednesday, February 5

2-5By Karen Brown of Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. … So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God,

—Ephesians 2:17, 19

I went back to college recently to enable a career change. I spend most of my time in one building, and I often cross paths with a housekeeping staff person named Rosemary. I always smile when I see her, but I became aware other students ignore her.

I thought it must be lonely to work all day in a place where no one speaks to you or even acknowledges your presence. I, too, have experienced that to some extent, being older than most students.

I introduced myself to Rosemary and began speaking to her whenever I saw her. That seemed to cause a transformation. She went from avoiding eye contact to her face lighting up whenever I spoke to her. Then she began starting conversations with me. At first we just engaged in “small talk” such as the weather. Now we share more about our families and challenges in our lives.

One time I was going to class with another student, and I stopped to talk to Rosemary. When I caught up, the other student asked me what I was doing. I said, “I had to talk to Rosemary.” She gave me a worried look and said, “Do you know her?” I said, “Yeah, Rosemary’s my friend.”

Many times I have failed to respond appropriately in similar situations, but I’m glad I had the courage to speak to Rosemary and then say she was my friend. Every person matters to God, no matter what their job or their life circumstances. Every person should matter to us. Treating others with love, kindness, and respect wherever we happen to be, or whatever the uniform, is what Christ did and would do today. He expects the same from us. Can you make a difference today to a person made invisible by their position?

Prayer for Peace
God of those from every walk of life, may we look into every face and see Christ. Help us look beyond the clothing, the labels, the outer conditions, and instead look into hearts with love and acceptance. Help us look for ways to share Christ’s love and peace.

Spiritual Practice: Welcoming Unity in Diversity
Meditate on Unity in Diversity. Create a large circle with your arms. See and feel the diverse people God invites inside the sanctuary of Christ’s peace represented by this circle.

Who is easiest to welcome? Whom do you struggle to include? Confess the dividing walls between you and people too different or “dangerous” to invite into your spiritual home. Ask God to forgive and heal barriers that keep us from loving one another.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will look at all people through the eyes of Christ.

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2 Comments

  1. Diane Akers

     /  6 February 2014

    Wonderful story of love, thanks for sharing!

  2. And as “invisible workers toil on” who among us considers what they are thinking, feeling, dreaming of? How many wonder what would it be like to be able to rush to class, chat on the way, get a new job, become “visible”?
    How many can’t even dream beyond today’s task?

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