I suspect that the women who attend prayer group with me are desirous of a peek inside. But, since I feel like an invisible leper, it is particularly difficult to allow them that vantage point. They hear what they hear about me, whatever good or bad that may be, and I wonder if returning to this place was ever a good idea.
“Be more vulnerable,” I’ve been told.
“I want you to connect with the women like you used to,” the current leader told me upon my return. When I asked her why, she responded, “I miss that in you.”
But, I am an invisible leper just trying to fade back into the Back Row Baptist seating arrangement while my children enjoy the place they have missed. Vulnerability, connection, yeah, not really things I want to attempt. Leprosy is contagious, ya know? Or at least my fear is that they will think it is, since I’m not a literal leper.
That same current leader, at one point in our friendship told me, when I revealed to her that I had spent a good portion of my life feeling invisible (which was a poignant realization at the time), that she felt like I made myself invisible. I don’t necessarily like that comment, but I can’t honestly deny it either.
A peek inside this tortured heart would reveal a very fragile woman who’s desperately trying to remain calm and strong. Who’s the sole breadwinner for three children and spends too much time smoking. The list of “ick” in me would make many run away screaming. A peek inside might just be too much for them. So, I sit silently (not a fan of “groups” anyway).
I could share the amazing things that God has done in my life, all of them true, and all of them worthy of insane amounts of praise and admiration. Some nearly unbelievable. I could teach them how to study the Bible using the Strong’s just like I taught the woman leading. But I’d just feel like a fraud, knowing my own leprous struggles. So I prefer to remain invisible. This is the best sneak peek I can give them. Perhaps it will be enough.