Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Do You See Margaret?

Margaret laughed to herself as she stood solo among the group of women. Her laugh was not one of happiness but one of mockery at herself and those around her. They didn’t even see her. They didn’t notice she had worn the same outfit for the last three weeks. They didn’t observe her as she lingered by herself each time she had come.

Margaret was new to the area and decided to visit a few local churches and bible studies before she landed on one. But it all seemed to turn out the same everywhere she went, no one noticed her. She was shy and introverted and it was hard for her to be the first to start a conversation with someone. “Why oh why, doesn’t someone talk to me?” she thought to herself, feeling awkward as she poured a cup of coffee in the entry way.

Have you ever found yourself in this situation? Have you ever gone somewhere and feel absolutely invisible?

My son started a new school a few years ago and I found myself in a similar situation. As I attended the PTA meeting for the first time I looked around the room, not knowing a soul. As I continued glancing around, I noticed I wasn’t the only one by myself. There were other women who appeared not to know anyone either. Each one, standing or sitting alone, pretending to be comfortable, yet not looking upward or outward, but tending more to her refreshments than having to seem comfortable in this most obviously, uncomfortable situation. Except for the loners, everyone else was talking and laughing in groups of two’s and three’s, unaware that there were isolated women in the room, oblivious, in fact.

Recently I had a conversation with Margaret and she was reminiscing with me about the time she felt so alone in that room full of women. She said she actually wore the same outfit on purpose for those few weeks in a row, just to prove to herself that it just didn’t matter because no one remembered her anyway.

How does it happen that we become so involved with ourselves that we forget about others in the room who might be new or lonely? I think about the times when I really don’t want to go somewhere because I’ve been to that meeting so many times before, or because I just don’t feel like it, or because I’m so caught up with my hair or outfit not being just so, and the list goes on and on. And then I think about Margaret’s story. I wonder, “Am I so caught up with what’s going on with me that I forget that it’s not all about me?” That maybe God wants me to go to that particular meeting because a “Margaret” might be there? Perhaps the meeting, the bible study or my child’s school party isn’t all about the girlfriends I already know but about reaching out to someone who needs a welcoming friend.

I challenge you to look beyond yourself this week. Wherever you go, look around the room and find someone who is by herself. Walk up to her and introduce yourself. Ask her some questions about how long she’s been coming and how you might help her find her way in that particular situation. She may be just the assignment God has for you today.

Let your inner beauty shine, girlfriends.

Love you,


Dave and Marilyn said...

Thank you so very much for this post about Margaret. I try to be aware of women in these situations and go over to them and draw them in. IT was such a great reminder that each one of us wants to be noticed and to know that we matter to those around us!
I hope that this post encourages us all to look for the Margarets in our churches and other social groups and to take time to talk with them and make them know that they are noticed and appreciated for who God has made them to be!

Anonymous said...

This is very good. I have been Margaret and I have been in places where I have seen "Margaret". Sometimes I feel like if I go and start a conversation the person might think I'm intruding or pestering them, so I needed to see this today. It is NOT about me, it's about who I can be for someone else. God gives us plenty of opportunities. We need to be looking for them! Thank you for posting this!

Libby said...

Thank you for this post today. I tend to not take the time to speak to others in a large group if I don't know them, but this has reminded me there are probably "Margarets" in every gathering, and I need to be aware of how God wants to use me to reach them.

Laura said...

I was recently complaining to a couple of girlfriends that I didn't get anything out of a monthly mom's group we had all attended. One mom quickly said, "But we need you there. You say things we need to hear." I had been thinking all about me, and how I didn't feel like it was worth my time, but apparently others were blessed by my participation. I have been learning to make a point of being a blessing to someone else, and not worrying so much about whether or not someone else is being a blessing to me.

~Brenda said...

Shari, this post makes me take stock in my life. I have been 'Margaret' and have seen 'Margaret'. There were times when I didn't approach a new person and should have, I will change my ways. Who knows, I could make a new friend.

Anonymous said...

I have been on both sides too. Thank you for posting this much needed article.

Monica said...


Great reminder that we need to get over ourselves and see others as Christ sees them.

Thanks for the reminder!