March 9, 2010

Vanishing Act

Several years ago we went to see, world famous magician, David Cooperfield perform live. Both my husband and son are facinated by illusionists. I can't really say that I feel the same, although I must admit, some parts of the show were intriguing. 

The final act required participation from the audience. I can't recall the number of people involved but I'll never forget the jaw-dropping response of the audience, myself included, as 25+ people vanish before our eyes. People nearly broke their necks scanning the auditorium in an effort to discover where they had gone.

Then, after a short bit of time that felt like hours, much to the amazement of the crowd they all reappeared. Unharmed they stood before us just as though they had never left. And despite the fact that they we were complete strangers we collectively breathed a loud sigh of relief. It was really quite impressive.

When we got home our son began scouring the internet to try to find out how it had been done. He had figured out most of the other tricks but could not get a handle on the closing act. And apparently the participants were sworn to secrecy. I'm uncertain of what kinds of threats were levied against them, or what bonuses were thrown at them, but no leaks could be found to explain this amazing feat.

They. vanished. before. our. eyes.

Disappearing.

I've been considering it lately.

Quite often.

Daily.

Sometimes hourly.

I can't help but wonder what would happen if I could perform such a trick.

Removed from sight.

Invisible.

Gone.

No blogs, emails, tweets, status updates, articles, phone conversations, voicemails, text messages or letters.

Absent. from. life.

How long would it take for people to notice aside from my immediate family?

And would my immediate family, aside from my fellow condo-dwellers, realize it?

How. long. would. it. take.

What difference would it make?

These are questions that have been on my mind lately. Not with a sense of morbitity but with a sense of wonder.

I have a wonderful family. I've also got siblings, in-laws, friends, and neighbors. And I have followers who read, write, and tweet with me. Each one of them is a blessing to me and I am thankful for them. Using the gift of encouragement, God has so graciously bestowed upon me, I endeavor to bring refreshment to them as they travel the road called "life." My desire is to be a blessing to them as well. 

Yet with each passing day I more clearly see how tiring and treacherous life can be. For others, absolutely, and also for me.

I wonder if I've ever done anything that has made a lasting difference. Or has it all been words?

Empty words.

Statements like "that ministered to me", "I appreciate your prayers", "you're a blessing", "here's a hug", "love you, friend", "you can do it", etc. are constantly thrown around. I don't just hear them--I say them. And some days it all sounds like a bunch of hocus pocus. 

Hocus pocus that makes me tired. 

A few weeks ago someone posted a comment that stood out to me. I've been pondering it every since. @rickosborne asked this question on Facebook: "Why do we wait until people die before we focus on all their good points. They won't need the encouragement then. They need it now! : )" The responses to this question were honest and interesting. I wish I could share them as well.

It. really. made. me. think.

People vanish every minute. Most aren't part of a magic act. They don't know they are leaving and there is no one to bring them back.

Time after time, at memorial services, I've seen people come to pay their respects, offer their condolensces, and share with family & friends left behind words of encouragement about their departed loved one. It is always very moving.

There are people who compose music, write books, pen articles, draw with their mouths, and perform all kinds of random acts of kindness and yet many times they are regarded as invisible their entire lives. They only appear brillant, clever, masterful, and talented after they are gone. In my opinion there is something wrong with that.

Why do we wait?

What. are. we. waiting. for?

Why such casual attitudes and shallow relationships?

Do you ever feel like performing a vanishing act?

How long would you like to be gone for?

What would you expect when you get back?

Vanishing is not all bad, you know.

As I ponder it the words of the Psalmist come to mind: "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." (Psalm 139:7-10)

One of the reasons I've considered vanishing is because others can surely get by without me, but I can't get by without God. I don't want to run away from everything. I'd just like to drop everything and run to Him.

So if in the future it suddenly seems as though I have disappeared please know it is only part one of the show. I will reappear. Most of you won't even realize that I had vanished at all.  And, unlike those people sworn to secrecy, regarding what they heard & saw during their experience, I'll be free to share. Hopefully I will learn something new and exciting that I can pass along.

8 comments:

Susan said...

Good thoughts! I have felt like vanishing before as well...and also, I was amazed by David Copperfield's act. It's good to know that whether we vanish, or stay right where we are, God's loving arms are always wrapped around us. Thanks for sharing!www.susanmarquez.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Melinda, I just posted a very long and heartfelt comment to you that I really wanted you to read, but since I don't know which/how to use the profile, it didn't go thru. This probably won't either. (Don't know what I'm doing wrong)
Anyway, I really enjoy all your post/blogs and hope you don't go away for very long. (Little short break, maybe) Love, pearl

Colleen Foshee said...

I was thinking about the rapture when you started talking about the vanishing act. Some time in history that phenominal event is going to happen. Funny though, this morning I read Matthew 24 where Jesus talks about how things here on earth will end. It will all culminate not in vanishing but in His big APPEARING. His appearing is what God is always ultimately going for. Melinda, can I say- you make Him appear to me through your posts all the time. I DO miss you when I don't/can't see those posts. BEAR HUGS.

Julie Harvey said...

Hi Melinda! As you probably know, I "vanished" from the internet a couple months ago (well not completely) but enough for most to notice I was gone. And I am still glad to this day that I did it. Because I am sure that I have told you before, it brought great refreshing to my life, and new insight and clarity to my walk with God and for His plan for me. If God is calling you aside I sure can understand!
It is when we try and vanish when we are meant to stay in full view that the Lord is not happy with, but I know that you are someone who would not do this - He would not let you!
So if you vanish for a while I will miss you but I will understand! And I will be looking forward to your return coz I know that it will only be for others' and your own benefit that you do go, for when you return it will be "in the Power of the Holy Spirit"! And i dont say this lightly coz I am filled with joy when I think of what He has done during my time away!
love ya!
Jules xxx

jasonS said...

Sounds like you may NEED some time off. Your spirit and heart and compelling you in a direction because God wants to use it. I know you're not just speaking out of pain and hurt, but there is a cry in the way you wrote this.

I wish too that people would speak more encouragement and good things before someone dies, but I also know that for myself I rarely believe when someone says something good or dismiss it with a "yeah, but..." We don't always see the difference we are making and people may or may not recognize it, but I'm glad the Father does and He will continue to cover us with grace as we live in obedience.

Blessings, Melinda, in Jesus' name.

Vanessa said...

Well I will tell you this.....I would have to follow you because I cannot imagine my life without you in it! And I don't say that as a form of Hocus Pocus.....don't make me come down to tell you in person...Love you!

Tea With Tiffany said...

Love your header... Nice to meet you.

Tea With Tiffany said...
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