Advantages of being invisible
Recently I attended a large political workshop in Columbia, held in the ballroom of a downtown convention hotel. Every county in the state was represented, some with several men and women there to be informed and trained in the latest conservative strategy and high-tech software.
During the lunch break I wandered around the room, observing the other attendees, listening in on several conversations, noting familiar faces and newcomers. Before joining the buffet line, I approached one of the seminar speakers to express my appreciation of his presentation.
Introducing myself, I was taken aback when he said, “Oh, everyone in this room knows who you are.” My automatic response was, “Oh, I doubt that…” but he just nodded and insisted, “Yes, they do.”
I was flattered by that comment; who wouldn’t be. Looking at his face, I knew that I knew what I knew, that he was a fellow believer. I asked him outright if he was a Christian and he said yes, then reminded me how we had originally met some years ago, over the telephone.
Thinking more about it since then, I have come to realize several things.
One, our conversations all those years ago had stuck with him. At the time I was assisting several political candidates in their run for office, offering database help, practical advice, a listening ear. He was one of my sources for information.
Secondly, it’s hard to be a right-wing, radical, pro-life, Christian political activist and remain anonymous.
Now, I didn’t attempt to be anonymous for many years. Tim and I believed that we were called to be missionaries to the world of politics. I did what I believed in my gut was the right thing to do, the thing the Lord wanted me to do, at the time and place and in the method he wanted, and let him worry about the outcome. I didn’t always know what the outcome was and that took some getting used to…
One outcome I knew pretty well, however, was being the target of flak. Name-calling, like “Nazi” and “Hitler.” Gossip. Rumors. Unfair criticism and outright lies. That also took some getting used to.
In the several years since Tim died, however, I’ve kept a low-key profile, not involved in much of anything publicly or politically. Becoming more or less invisible politically has been a pleasant form of retirement.
Watching, listening and discerning the gathering war clouds in heavenly places, I’ve been letting the younger generation deal with the main issues of the day. But over these months I’ve discovered how some members of the younger generation deal with issues. They socialize. They complain and they discuss, but they don’t fight.
And I’ve come to realize that even if they did, they wouldn’t use the essential weapons of this warfare, intercession, God’s word and gifts of the Holy Spirit. It’s as if they don’t recognize the kind of war that’s breaking out around them, much less know how to fight it.
Well, I’ve come to a conclusion. The use of those weapons doesn’t require a public face or a public arena. In this situation, invisibility has its advantages.