Now You See Me, Now You Don’t, But God Does!


I was thinking last week and even through the weekend, how invisible I felt these days.  Last week was soooo hard on many levels.  Struggling with issues lingering from a devastating event over 3 years ago. The effects of it still seen within my family.  If I had to choose a number on a scale of 1-10, it would have to be an 8.  A friend sent this to me and I could not resist posting it. I hope it will be ok with the author.  It is a wonderful thought and one I am thankful for.  I have visited some great cathedrals, when I was stationed in Europe, many years ago and I can tell you these pictures do not do them justice.  Massive does not even come close. To think that our efforts in our children’s lives are sometimes of no effect is a huge mistake.  Good and the bad we build into their lives.  I am so blessed today to be reminded of this through these words.  I hope it blesses you as much as it did me.

Grace to you all!


Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For His eye is on the sparrow, And I know He watches me.

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Perspective: The Invisible Woman
By Nicole Johnson

  It started to happen gradually.  One day I was walking
my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand
and we were about to cross the street
when the crossing guard said to him,
“Who is that with you, young fella?” 

    “Nobody,” he shrugged.

“Nobody?” The crossing guard and I laughed.

My son is only 5, but as we crossed the

street I thought, “Oh my goodness, nobody?”

I would walk into a room and no one would notice.

I would say something to my family – like

“Turn the TV down, please” – and nothing would happen.

Nobody would get up, or even make a move for

the remote. I would stand there for a minute,

and then I would say again, a little louder,
“Would someone turn the TV down?” Nothing.

Just the other night my husband and I were out at a party.

We’d been there for about three hours and I was ready to leave.
I noticed he was talking to a friend from work. So I walked over,
and when there was a break in the conversation,

I whispered, “I’m ready to go when you are.”

He just kept right on talking.

That’s when I started to put all the pieces together.

I don’t think he can see me. I don’t think anyone can see me. 
I’m invisible.

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It all began to make sense, the blank stares,

the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk
into the room while I’m on the phone
and ask to be taken to the store.

Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?”

Obviously not! No one can see if I’m on the phone,

or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing

on my head in the corner, because
no one can see me at all.

I’m invisible.

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Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more:

Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?
Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being.
I’m a clock to ask, “What time is it?”
I’m a satellite guide to answer,
“What number is the Disney Channel?

“I’m a car to order, “Right around 5:30, please.”

I was certain that these were the hands

that once held books and the eyes that studied history
and the mind that graduated summa cum laude
-but now they had disappeared into the

peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She’s going she’s going she’s gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner,

celebrating the return of a friend from England.
Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous
trip, and she was going on and on about
the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there,
looking around at the others all put together so well.
It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself
as I looked down at my out-of-style dress;
it was the only thing I could find that was clean.
My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip
and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it.
I was feeling pretty pathetic when Janice turned to me
with a beautifully wrapped package, and said,
“I brought you this.”

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It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe.

I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me
until I read her inscription:
“To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of

what you are building when no one sees.”

In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book.

And I would discover what would become for me,

four life-changing truths, after
which I could pattern my work:

*    No one can say who built the great cathedrals –

we have no record of their names.

*    These builders gave their whole lives for a

work they would never see finished.

*    They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

*    The passion of their building was fueled by

their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
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    A legendary story in the book told of a rich man

who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built,
and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam.
He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you

spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that
will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.”

And the workman replied, “Because God sees.”

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.

It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me,
“I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day,
even when no one around you does.  No act of kindness
you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve
baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over.
You are building a great cathedral, but you
can’t see right now what it will become.”
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    At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction.
But it is not a disease that is erasing my life.
It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness.

It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a

great builder.  As one of the people who show up at a job
that they will never see finished, to work on
something that their name will never be on.
The writer of the book went so far as to say that no
cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because

there are so few people willing to
sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son

to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college
for Thanksgiving, “My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and
bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a
turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for
the table.” That would mean I’d built a shrine or a
monument to myself.  I just want him to want to come home.

And then, if there is anything more to say to his
friend, to add, “You’re gonna love it there.”

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals.

We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right.
And one day, it is very possible that the world
will marvel, not only at what we have built,
but at the beauty that has been added to the
world by the sacrifices of invisible women.


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12 thoughts on “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t, But God Does!

    Hello Shell!!
    What an impressive entry, thank you. Thank you for introducing us with Nicole Johnson\’s sensitive world… And thanks a lot for joining the conversation on my blog.
    Cheers, Zeynep xx

    At the end of the day, your kids know you love them and that\’s all a person needs.
    I just did get settled back in for the most part.  I still have some things lingering in the car, but I have the biggest part of it sorted out.  The air smells like smoke this morning.  So, apparently, the Pumacha fire is still going.
    No worries about the Bible study.  You\’re always welcome but needn\’t ever feel obligated.
    I love ya!
    Carol 🙂

  3. Hi Shell, Great Post…Thanks for sharing…Just dropping by to say hi and to thank you for dropping by my space. Happy you enjoyed my Blog Posting about the Remembrance Day Poppy etc.. You made mention that you served in the USA Airforce for 10 years. Guess what? My Dad also was in the Airforce. He served in the Canadian Airforce during WW 2. As a matter of fact my Dad came home from overseas and married my Mom. 4 years later I was born out of that union. My Dad is still living today and has celebrated his 85th birthday. Sadly my beloved Mom passed away @ age 79, November 6th, 2001. I miss my Mom but am thankful for the many years I had with her. The good thing I can share here is the day of Mom\’s death she made her peace with God so this gives me great comfort knowing she is at home in Heaven with her Saviour. One day I will be re-united with my beloved Mother. Thanks again for sharing your story about being in the Airforce and for prompting me to share my story about Dad being in the Airforce too…It sure is a small world after all. Have a great weekend and enjoy your day…God\’s Blessings, Your Friend, Judith

  4. Shell, allow me to begin by apologizing for not posting, visiting, or returning comments in a more timely manner.  I\’ve had some rather severe problems with a new medication that reared it\’s ugly head when my immune system was weakened by the back to back surgeries.  However, now that I\’ve had the pleasure to read this post, I confess to my spirits being lifted.  Without question, this is the best post I\’ve seen on Spaces this year.  We all have our moments of self pity, and gentle reminders like your post is what keeps us grounded in trusting that all things are tiny compared to the sacrifice made so that we might live in eternal comfort with our Lord Jesus.  With a faith grounded on solid rock we learn that all our sufferings are gain.  Why?….is not ours to always know, but no human has or will endure the pain given freely so that we might live.  As believers, we know that the journey in this life will not be easy nor is there any pain we cannot endure too great for us to lose hope.  You understand this well my friend.  Bow your head into the wind and never rest on the perilous and demanding journey of the narrow path leading us closer and closer to our ultimate goal.  We were told the righteous would endure all manner of temptation and grief for a life grounded in Jesus Christ.  You are a most treasured friend by the gift of grace.

  5. Shell, thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my babies. We do have a cute buch of children/grandchildren, don\’t we? Your post reminds me of a book by Barbara Johnson entitled, "Where Does a Mother Go to Resign?" She has a number of books that speak to the struggles of parents, especially mothers. If you have the chance and see the book (or audio tapes) I encourage you to read/listen. I believe you will be very blessed. Have a wonderful weekend, and may you have wonderful worship with our Lord tomorrow.

  6. Shell, thank you for the wonderful glitter image and message in my guestbook.  My guestbook needs to be revised, and I\’m thinking of using the one you use.  It is so much better.  Once again, you have my sincere thanks for sticking with me during this time when I\’m not posting as often as I would like.  Many have stopped visiting because they just don\’t understand fully why I\’ve had to change priorities for awhile.  You are not forgotten in my prayers and thoughts concerning you current crisis.  I encourage you to hold on to hope.

    Good evening C-Shell,
    Wow!!! Those Cathedrals in real life would be amazing.
    There is something about those structures. They portray faith and hope in an awesome God.
    What a wonderful share you have here.
    Who say\’s blogging is a waste of time. All of us show it\’s a good thing and a small…small world.
    Your bud in Branson, Greg

  8. Oh my god Shell, you touched me so much wth this post!I too understand how its like to be invisible.. I am there but my words and my actions partcularly seems non existent… its really painful to thnk about sometmes.. but ur post made me see a new perspectve to it all…. just  becos  i am invsible to others does not mean i am worthless.. thank you for this entry. You can count me as a fan.
    Starr x

    I finally was able to get in to MySpace to add you as a friend but could only access my messages and other people\’s profiles.  I wanted to put you in my top friends but couldn\’t get in to do that.  And by the time I\’d gotten enough frustration about it all to last for 2 lifetimes I left the library without leaving you a comment – which I also wanted to do.  MySpace has been one headache and buttache after another from the very get-go for me.  Facebook has been much kinder and way more fun!  (MySpace is blocked from the network where I work, btw…).
    So anyway, it\’ll prolly take me a while to get over my last bit of frustration to go there again.  That\’s how my MySpace life tends to go.  I forget what a pain it is and after a while have to go in for a refresher course.
    Anyway, I do hope you have a beautiful weekend full of fullness of joy in His presence and pleasures forevermore at His right hand!
    Love ya!!!
    Carol 🙂

  10. H, thank you for visiting..I came back because i am eager to read another amazing entry from you. thank you for you nice commenton our space. do you mind me asking how you overcame your circumstances? wha was the turning point?

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