Monday, April 8, 2013

Reject Party!


“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me." 
~ John 15:18-21, NLT ~

It must have been my Junior year in high school.  I wasn't asked to the Homecoming dance.  Not alone in my lack of a date, I decided to make lemonade out of my lemons by hosting a "Reject Party."  Inviting all of my friends who had also been forgotten, I donned my parent's reckroom with cupids hanging upside down, black crepe paper and broken hearts.  With great irony, my party ended up being the place to be that night, with those who had actually attended the Homecoming dance crashing my little soiree. Remarkably, here I was the one feeling rejected, sitting on the margins, but winding up being loved and included in the end.

Thirty years later, that awful rejection and exclusion doesn't get any easier.  There are the times where I've been forgotten by a spouse on a birthday, anniversary or return from out-of-town; times where I've been belittled by family members who think we're "overreacting" to our children's issues or being negligent as parents because of the kids' behavior challenges; times where we haven't been invited to parties because our lives are too complicated; times where people have been angry with me because I don't do more of the PTA or volunteer-type activities with all the demands of special needs parenting crowding my life.  I could go on about the rejection, but even without such obvious exclusion, parenting a child with special needs is tremendously isolating.

This weekend, that painful isolation was weighing on me.  Many troubles dragged me downward.  I attended church in shifts with my husband, so that one of us could be home with our sick child at all times.  Even my other two children ditched me to attend the youth service, so I found myself at church sitting completely alone.  As heavy sadness threatened to steal my refreshment during worship, I felt the voice of Jesus come over me, "I was left by everyone too."

Communion suddenly burst forth with even deeper meaning.  It was a reject party!  My rejection was Christ's rejection, and His body and blood were my love and inclusion.  My isolation had value.  I shared in His fellowship of suffering.  Once again, the girl sitting on the margins found herself participating in the party of parties.

Friends, this is a treasured revelation from the Lord.  All of us parents endure these heavy emotions from time to time.  We are marginalized on so many levels.  It seems the party goes on without us.  Yet Jesus is well acquainted with our suffering.  He laid down His life, so that we might fully live.  He loves and includes all.  And when we say "Yes" to Him, we find ourselves at the place to be, welcomed and cherished, never forgotten.

PRAY:  Jesus, when I feel so left out, bring to my mind how you shared in being an outsider with me, so that I might be included.  Protect my mind from the lies that I am completely unloved.  Thank You for giving your life that I might live!

Photo Image Courtesy of 123RF

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