Damaris – One Woman in a Crowd

Have you ever been in a crowd, or even among a few people, and felt completely invisible? I mean, your standing right in front of them, but there is no acknowledgment of your presence or any polite conversation started to draw you in. There is nothing. And you feel utterly invisible.

I wonder if in that moment you, like me, become completely frustrated, maybe even angry at the other person because of his/her lack of manners. You may chalk up the situation to a waste of time and simply walk off. And yet, feelings of longing to be seen and to connect linger in the hours after the encounter.

Why is that?

I believe it is because we were not created to be alone. We were created for community. We seek that togetherness in everyone we meet and when we don’t find it in some, we feel rejected and isolated.

Starting in Genesis, we see God creating community for the man called Adam.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:18 ESV

In the end, even Jesus does not leave without making sure that we are able to commune with God. He tells the disciples that a helper is coming after his departure.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:16 ESV

So, there is always a piece of us seeking community, seeking to be heard, seeking to be seen.

How do you reconcile these feelings when it comes to God? Everyone at some point has felt a lack of God’s presence in their life. Many of us in our struggles cry out: “Don’t you see me God?”

Woman of God, we can’t transpose our disappointments regarding other human beings onto God. Don’t doubt for a moment that the One who created you doesn’t see you in every moment of time. Don’t take any period of silence between you and God as an indication He doesn’t see you. It is simply not true.

How can I be so bold in making such a statement?

Because God gives us glimpses of His great ability to watch over us throughout the Bible. In some cases, there are well laid out stories concerning certain Bible characters in which we know God is watching their every move. And yet there are other Bible characters that are more hidden in that we don’t know much about them.

Enter Damaris.

So, Paul went out from their midst. But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them. Acts 17:33-34 ESV

Who is Damaris? The truth is, we really don’t know much about her. What we do know is that she was an Athenian believer who had heard Paul preach at some point and believed. Even though we don’t know her entire story, we know her name. That in God’s economy is HUGE.

Since Athens was filled with those who pursued thinking and talking over commitment to the truth of the Word, Paul did not find many to convert. This is why verse 33 states “So Paul went out from their midst.” Knowing that he had done all that he could do there, he prepared to leave. But there amid his departure, we are told a small crowd of believers existed and Damaris is one of two people identified by name.

It is speculated that Damaris might have been a woman of influence, but again, no details about her are given. However, what we can draw from that one piece of scripture is that among the thousands of people of Athens was a woman whom God saw. Damaris was not invisible to God. He saw her and more importantly He saw her heart. She was not lost in the crowd. To be included in the gospel account is no small matter.

So, what about me and you?

We can rejoice that even when others may not see us, God does. God is our creator and He created us for community not just with others, but directly with Him. If we need further proof, we can go to scriptures like Luke 12:7 which tells us that even the hairs on our heads are numbered by God. Or perhaps, Deuteronomy 31:6 in which God expresses He will never leave nor forsake us.

One of the most expressive passages in the Bible about God’s proximity to us is written by David. I encourage you to take some time to read and study the entire Psalm 139 passage. For now, let’s look at two specific verses. Psalm 139:7-8 states:

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! ESV

How can God be that close to us and not see us? It is simply impossible.

Today, be assured you are NOT invisible to God. He sees you. He’s watching over you. He is ever faithful.

 

 

 

Elaine is the founder of Transforming Love Ministries as well as the She Steps Forward conference. As a writer, speaker, and leadership coach, she is on a mission to empower everyday women to chase God-sized dreams. Elaine is available for one-to-one coaching and group coaching. For more information about coaching, email her at elaine@elainelankford.com

Please note all scripture was taken from the ESV – English Standard Version

The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®). ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.

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