I’ve been afraid of rejection
my whole life.
Then I got rejected
in one day.
My head told me
not to take it personally.
It doesn’t reflect badly
on them or me.
It’s for the best.
I continued on,
but when I looked back
my heart hadn’t moved.
She was still sitting at the corner
with a shocked look on her face,
doubting her goodness.
“Oh, tender heart.”
I knelt down to wipe a tear from her cheek,
I know this is hard.”
She’d wrapped her arms tightly
around her knees
as if she could protect herself
from what had already happened.
“I thought I belonged everywhere,”
she said. “That’s what you said God said.
But I don’t.
I don’t belong
“No. Not there.
They don’t want you there.
It’s true,” I said to my heart.
I stroked her back
and tucked her stray hair behind her ear.
“But you belong here,” I said.
“You belong to me.”
I picked her up and carried her
with shame, doubt and disappointment
tightly clutched in her hand.
Then, in the rocking rhythm of my body,
after a while
I felt her
and heard her
as the hurt
from her tiny
God tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart.
∗ ∗ ∗
Coincidence? A friend sent me the Centre for Action and Contemplation‘s statement of belonging and anouther friend read it out at a meeting that same week. What would it be like for our communities of faith to be brave enough to create a litany of belonging, speak it out, and live by it? We are as beautifully diverse as these wild flowers. We all long to know that, in our differences, we are loved and accepted. That knowing needs to come from within ourselves, where we are one with God. We’re constantly on shaky ground if we rely on others for a sense of belonging. That said, how good it is when what we hear from God inside is echoed outside. May we be good echoers of God.