A 1958 television series, adapted from a novel by H.G. Wells, portrayed the challenges and sometimes advantages of being an invisible man. In the series, later remade into another series by the same name in 1975, the protagonist is exposed to radiation which has the effect of rendering him permanently invisible. As he searches for a scientific cure, he is enlisted by the government for espionage. The character is presented simply as a voice: when we see him, we see his face and hands completely bandaged. That’s got to be a little awkward: your either completely unseen or you’re the guy in the room eliciting all the stares. Blending in is not an option.
A lot of people like to blend in, unnoticed. A whole lot of people enjoy being the center of attention. But nobody likes to feel invisible.
Invisible is unseen. It’s unheard. It’s unnoticed, and worse, it’s unknown. And the cry of the human heart is to be seen heard, recognized, known.
To hear the press tell it, a large portion of Baltimore would be running through the streets in suits, with heads and hands bandaged. They are the invisible, drawing attention to themselves with their exposed skin wrapped in strips of fabric so that the rest of the country can know they are there. In lieu of that option, they run through the streets destroying what is orderly, stable, established. The rioting mob is the modern-day version of the marauding hordes of armies, who swept through villages, setting fire and plundering all that was in their wake, all that they didn’t carry away for themselves. Except now, the hordes maraude their own villages, they ransack their own streets, they pillage their neighbors. All because, to hear the armchair media psychologists tell it, they feel invisible and they want to be seen.
Seen they are, in the light of the buildings they’re burning. In fact, its hard to miss them.
Assuming that the TV shrinks are correct, our most recent batch of disenfranchised youth are simply expressing scorn for … something … other people’s property, drugstores, order, authority.. And according to these experts on the mob mentality, they are clearly redirecting their own feeling that they’re worthless or despicable, and expressing it in outward contempt toward others.
Meanwhile, the government fiddles while Baltimore burns.
Which is fine. Because when such deep-rooted turmoil explodes so forcefully from so young a collective culprit, the government is not the answer. The answer lies in the few we do see on those torrid streets making a difference. The mother who pulls her child, twice her size physically, out of the fray. The pastors who carry the message that God, the God who made the eye and formed the ear, is the God who sees and hears. He is the God who knows – and who knew them – before He formed them in the womb.
The angry hordes in Baltimore and Ferguson don’t need to be seen and heard, because they already are – they just need to understand that truth. They need eyes to see – the Invisible – and ears to hear, themselves.
1 Timothy 1:17
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Hagar was a prime example of feeling scorned. A slave, she bore the child of her master and was abused by her mistress. God saw her and spoke to her then. Later she was sent away with that child, into the wilderness, with only bread and water. There she wandered, invisible. Or so she thought. God met her again and told her that He had heard her child crying. He was the God who saw her and heard her.
Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees”; for she said, “Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?”
The message to Baltimore is this: You are seen. You are heard. You are known. Your help is in Him, who changes times and epochs, who establishes kings and removes kings. It’s not in your outrage or your ferocity. It’s not in you at all.
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Scorners set a city aflame, but wise men turn away anger.
Pray for the nation!
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