Have you ever felt invisible?
My phone rang. I answered it. At the sound of my voice the caller erupted into a flood of tears. She wailed, ‘I am invisible. Why do I bother?’
That morning her church had celebrated their 10th birthday. The atmosphere in the packed to overflowing auditorium was charged with excitement and partying. As the programme unfolded this pastor’s wife listened to testimony after testimony, all of which expounded the virtues and achievements of her husband. She watched a history video presentation of their church accompanied by an abundance of photographs. Again, all of her husband.
Her enthusiasm began to fade. Her heart sinking deeper into disappointment as she realised she was nowhere to be seen. She was invisible.
Regaining control of her emotions, the question came, ‘Doesn’t anyone see my effort, my sacrifice? Am I just the woman behind the man? The woman behind the scenes who no one sees. Invisible?’
A pastor’s wife can at times feel invisible for many reasons. Some of these might be her own personal insecurity. Or standing in the shadow of her husband either by choice or by church culture. Or plain and simple people’s thoughtlessness.
3 Additional real-life examples of feeling invisible:
…One pastor’s wife recounted to me how that on their 1st Sunday back after holidays the meeting leader enthusiastically welcomed her husband back but neglected to mention her, who was sitting right beside him.
…I often accompany my husband when he is the guest speaker in a church. Regularly people gather around him to talk to the man of God and I am left standing off to the side by myself. Alone. Ignored. Invisible.
…Another pastor’s wife came to the decision to stop having people in their home for a meal because time after time she was left feeling like the invisible waiter. She prepared the meal, organised the children, served the meal, cleared the table, made the coffee. Meanwhile all conversation was focused on and directed to her husband. Her conclusion was that if they lacked manners to include her, then they weren’t welcome in her home.
Pinterest has a quote which says of the pastor’s wife, ‘Nobody notices what I do until I don’t do it.’
Feeling invisible is a very real and tangible experience for a pastor’s wife. So, when it happens to you don’t think you are different or weird or full of pride for desiring to occasionally be acknowledged or appreciated. The feeling of invisibleness isn’t something you plan. It’s like the bird who appears out of nowhere and drops poop on your car. It happens, you clean it off, you move on. Continue Reading