People need to be seen. People need to know they exist, that they matter. People need to know they have gravity, weight, that they bend space and time. It is a slow, quiet death when a person feels like no one can see them. Imagine knowing you exist, have feelings, dreams, and desires, but are treated like a ghost — you can see others, but they can’t (or won’t) see you.
A significant damaging effect of the fundamentalist (evangelical?) mindset is its tendency to make some people feel invisible. It happens in many ways, but here are just a few:
When we see people in a strict, black and white world of “saved” and “lost,” there is a tendency to dismiss the views, opinions, and feelings of those considered “lost.” Not only does this make them disappear, it reveals a pride, as if nothing could be learned from a “lost” person (Remember the Magi in Matthew 2?).
When we treat certain sins as more “sinful” than others, there is a tendency to treat the people who commit those “sins” in a way that makes them feel invisible. This is a paradox of sorts, because on one level they are actually made to feel more visible, exposed, shamed, and guilty, so there is also a sense of being paraded about — or being made very visible.
What this does, however, is make the people being shamed (for instance, gay people) want to shrink away, to hide, to become invisible. Think about it. Why do you think it is called coming out of the “closet?” The closet exists to hide in,… [Read more…] about For the Invisible People