Constant awareness

If something is invisible that does not mean it does not exist. Invisibility may be more about our vision than it is about the thing we don’t see.

We don’t pay much attention to air until it becomes stirred up or we are unable to breathe it in. Certainly we need air to live, but unless it is polluted enough or violent enough, we choose to call it invisible.

Many people are invisible by our choice. We call them marginalized. They exist on the periphery of our awareness and we fail to take notice of them.

That does not mean that they are not important to us. We benefit from the sweatshop workers overseas that make our clothes, the wait staff at our favorite restaurant and government workers. We can easily push them to the outer edges of our awareness. We will gladly receive the benefits they give to society and choose to ignore their struggles and suffering.

Until they stir things up.

Why do we need to designate such things? Should we not be aware always what others contribute to our culture? Should we not be aware always that there are people who contribute to our lives even when they are not able to share our standard of living? Should we not be aware always that our chosen actions can cause others to suffer?

As I write this, I realize I am writing as if the only readers will be other people who share the advantages of being a white male in our society. Unfortunately, there are people who are so marginalized that they can no longer see their own self-worth. Should we not also help others see themselves as worthy of dignity? Should we not let others know they are seen as beloved of God?

If you have been pushed to the margins, be aware that you are visible, an essential part of life and loved. Mindfulness, or spiritual awareness, is as much about our ability to see others as it is about our ability to see ourselves as worthy of respect and acceptance.

Pastor Phil Konz