Being nobody

“He sees you,” she says.

I wonder about this seeing.

There’s a push, especially within non-denominational Christian churches (and, might I add, United States culture) to be important. We worship the idea of being exceptional; to take what we are good at and do something extraordinary with it; to leave a mark on the world; to make sure our name never fades from the lips of humanity.

From the time I was a child, I was fed this lie. I ate it over, and over, and over, and over again.

When I was six, the music director at my church told my parents I should be trained on piano because I learned how to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” by ear, by myself. When I was seven, I began piano lessons. When I was fifteen, I was slated to become the next music director of the church. When I was fifteen, I became the youngest jazz band player at Monroe High, along with one other person. When I was nineteen, I was leading worship by myself at a church. When I was twenty one, I was playing in the best worship band in the area. When I was twenty three, I was playing in front of seven hundred and fifty people per weekend.

When I was in elementary school, I wrote a short book about a greedy alien. When I was in high school, I aced all of my English classes. When I was at community college, I got a job as a peer tutor for writing. When I was at my university, I got a job as a writing consultant.

I was well-liked, well-respected, and well-accomplished. People saw me as a great musician, a great writer, and a great Christian, even if I was a bit liberal.

In an instant, all of that changed. People lost respect for me, I was not playing in the band, and I was not writing inspiring things. Friends deserted me for petty things, and it seemed like the entire Church itself turned its back on me.

For the first time in my life, I became no one. I was seen by no one. No one saw me. No one looked into my soul and recognized it as an entity to be regarded.

It caused me to spiral. I went into a dark hole and couldn’t muster the strength to come out, nor could I find a suitable reason for coming out. Why waste energy returning to an empty world?

Yesterday, my dear friend told me, “You are seen. He sees you. Not as he would like you to be, not as others would like you to be, not even as you yourself would like you to be. He sees you as you are.”

What a joy anonymity has been! What profound rest knowing the world expects nothing of you; knowing the world doesn’t acknowledge your existence!

I am seen. Many think they see me, but they see a projection of themselves. I am seen, and I am known.


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