"You wore camouflage today, because you wanted to be noticed." Of all the songs I know, or have written, this line is one of my cherished favorites.
For one reason or another, we all wish to be noticed. I have been around enough celebrities who, for example, pretend they don't want to be recognized. But the best part of this humbleness is they almost always get miffed when people don't know who they are. You can see the little light within their sparkle dim. They, like you and me, don't want to be overlooked. We don't like being ignored, or picked last, or worse, be invisible to those around us. There are many reasons for this, but suffice it to say we want to be noticed so we don't miss out on what the world has to offer. After all, we all want something from the world (or from God), right?
Yesterday, during a visit to a local church, the priest spoke of this need to noticed by God. Some of us pray out loud, or do "good works" required by scripture or law, and so on. We go out of our way to be the best that we can at being "good." For ancient Israel, as it continues to be with us today, this can be a problem. For example, the religious leaders of Israel would do things to get noticed by both the people and by God. But isn't this is doing God a disservice? If anything, what does it say about your faith?
To paraphrase Fr. Dan of St. Michaels and All Angels, the point of doing the work of Christ (showing love to the other) isn't to be noticed by God and be rewarded. Instead we imitate Christ so that we might see God in others. And to be the vessel of God's love for others to experience the redemptive grace giving to us all.
It's in our noticing and meeting the needs of those around us (the immigrants, the poor, the tired, the scared, the hungry, sick, naked, imprissoned and outcasts) that we begin to see God all around us.
Our desire to be noticed, therefore, should be first and foremost for others to see God's light and love in you. And so I invite you to ponder this question: Is that what others see in you?
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma." Ephesians 5:1-2 (NASB)