Updated: Feb 10
One of my favorite things to do is snuggle up with a cup of tea and binge watch Ravi Zacharias and his team answer college students questions about the meaning of life (these videos are my favorites)
For those of you who don’t know Ravi’s ministry, he is a world traveling Christian Philosopher. My favorite debates are those that deal with the questions like “Is God racist,” “Is God sexist,” etc… When students often ask those questions, what they are actually asking is “Am I invisible to God?”
This question intrigues me because I have struggled with this feeling and I also find many women who struggle with their identity in Christ. Yes, they know He died for them. He existed. He did incredible things. But somehow it’s hard to believe that they are not invisible in this life. Maybe it’s just a case of being star-struck before an awesome God, or maybe you feel invisible to God because others make you feel that way. However, feeling invisible is one of the daily struggles for many people regardless of their faith. Often times that notion of “different values of worth” comes from the Old Testament laws and social rules.
I often ask myself the question, ‘Why does the Old Testament have laws and customs that seem so wrong and immoral and sexist? Why were women so mistreated from the beginning of time? Does this mean God still views women this side of the New Testament in the same way as the Old?’ Many women Ravi speaks to admit they gave up on God after reading the first few chapters of the Bible because they feel God does not have a place for them. Ravi always tells them they would be justified to do so, if it were not for the fact that the story does not end the same way in which it began. No one stops reading a novel after the first chapter on the grounds the hero is struggling You have to read to the end to see how the author gives the hero a happily ever after. There is a journey and a process to story and it must be completed to understand the full essence. This journey isn’t about sexism, as much as it is, “Did Eve sin so badly that God does not have a place for me?”
Genesis begins with Eve’s curse which catapulted women into social bondage. Merchants would not let women count money into their hands because they feared being touched by a woman. Fathers bartered away their daughters and many came with money payments. Certain times of the month when a woman was “unclean” she was separated from her family until “her days were fulfilled” and the same was true after a pregnancy. Most women had to share a husband. Many had to prove their virginity to a crowd of people, whereas men did not. Rabbis refused to teach women and educate them, many did not condescend to acknowledge women. In many cases, a woman was worth less money than a hard working donkey.
So what does this say about God? Is this still His view, His laws? Did He create me to be invisible?
This might sound like a crazy thought process to some, but thousands of women struggle with understanding their worth before God. “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, but I will not forget you.” -Isaiah 49:15
This Old Testament lifestyle reports that humanity suffered under great bondage from sin entering into the world. However, social and spiritual invisibility was not God’s original design for women. It was a product of sin. Eve was meant to be the most beautiful, honored, a helper, a companion, and a guide. But sin warped her role into one that resembled slavery. God didn’t create women to be invisible, but Satan wished them to be (and then he blamed God for being sexist!) Satan wants us worthless, hidden, and scorned because God created Eve valuable, visible, and praised. Creation was not complete until God created Eve and He called her, “very good.” She was His crowning beauty to the universe, without her nothing was complete. Satan has had a vendetta against women since the beginning. But God promised Eve that one day a Savior would come to undo what Satan had done.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou will bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15
This is where the History changes not just for women, but for everyone. If you feel invisible today ether because of a sin you committed, or because of abuse you endured, or because you simply don’t have the faith to believe God loves you, that’s ok. Jesus left you incredible evidence that He wants you and sees you! Remember, Jesus touched the bleeding women who weren’t allowed to be hugged or even hold hands with their family because of “uncleanness.” Jesus sent the Woman at the Well as one of the first evangelists to her people. Jesus cared for His mother and provided provision to her and obeyed her at the wedding, turning water into wine. He forgave an adulterous woman and saved her from death. Every woman He spoke to was with kindness, equality, and without sexualizing or patronizing them. He told Martha to come learn, something no Rabbi had ever invited her to do. His disciples constantly wondered and criticized Him for “fraternizing with sinners.” God planned it so women were the first to find Jesus risen, they were the first to believe, and they were the ones who Jesus had touched so deeply that they stayed the longest to mourn Him. Jesus picked the invisible to know Him first. He made those who were invisible, visible. He saw the unseen, the dirty, the sick, the sinners. You are no worse (or better) than any character he touched.
Jesus had the power to repeal social bondage because He came to undo reproach. “Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins be forgiven thee,’ or ‘Take up your bed and walk’. But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Matthew 9:5-6
When the Savior came, it was the first time in History a man taught equality, kindness, and value. What Jesus did was radical and against every tradition and attitude they had been taught from childhood. The world had never known a God who valued all members equally. He fulfilled the statement in Genesis that, “God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” -Genesis 1:27 If you are a woman struggling under a veil of invisibility, hear this: God created YOU in HIS image. How valuable does that make you to Him? Peter, who was the loudest and most critical, later wrote, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 The man who once criticised Him for fraternizing with “sinful women,” now viewed women as sisters and in the next verse he calls them “heirs.”
If you are feeling invisible, look to the Man who made hundreds of women and men visible. Look at the God who gave women “living water” in this world and the next. Read His words and believe in His example. There is every flavor of person Jesus met, and you might be a mix of several of them, that’s ok! You are not so sinful or so invisible to Him you can’t feel His love. He is still touching lives today, and you can be one of them if you believe.
Because of sin there will always be disease, racism, hurt, wars, injustice, death, and people will always try to make others feel invisible. But those things are from the actions of people, not the God of the Universe who sees you and knows you and invites you to be healed by Him.
Ecclesiastes 3 says, “He has made everything beautiful in His time,” and you are part of that “everything” to Him. You can’t be beautiful and invisible at the same time.