Author Keith Miller tells of an outgoing 40-year-old woman who was part of a sharing group he led. Here is her story:
“When I was a tiny little girl, my parents died, and I was put in an orphanage. I was not pretty at all, and no one seemed to want me. But I longed to be adopted and loved by a family as far back as I can remember. I thought about it day and night, but everything I did seemed to go wrong. I must have tried too hard to please the people who came to look me over, and what I did was to drive them away. But then one day, the head of the orphanage told me that a family was coming to take me home with them.
I was so excited that I jumped up and down and cried like a little baby. The matron reminded me that I was on trial and this might not be a permanent arrangement, but I just knew that somehow it would work out. So, I went with this family and started to school. I was the happiest little girl you can imagine, and life began to open up for me just a little. But then one day a few months later, I skipped home from school and ran into the front door of the big old house we lived in. No one was at home, but in the middle of the front hall was my battered suitcase with my little coat thrown across it. As I stood there it suddenly dawned on me what it meant–I didn’t belong there anymore.”
Miller reports that when the woman stopped speaking, there was hardly a dry eye in the group. But then she cleared her throat and said almost matter-of-factly, “This happened to me seven times before I was 13 years old. But wait, don’t feel too badly. It was experiences like these that ultimately brought me to God–and there I found what I had always longed for–a place, a sense of belonging, a forever family.” (Source: Sermoncentral.com)
We all want to belong to something, to someone. In a way it completes us because God never meant for His children to spend their lives alone. We are creatures in need of community and when that doesn’t happen a feeling of loneliness comes over us. Some deal with this by convincing themselves their better off alone, but rarely is that the case.
Paul told the church in Galatia, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). To God we are of equal value and each one of us His precious jewel. No matter how the world treats us, our God loves us to the greatest extent of love. We are His creation and share equally in His inheritance. “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and all were made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13).
This is the same kind of attitude God wishes for all of us to share. His calling on our lives is to see every person as valuable as another just as He does. His wish for us is to serve each other no matter what position in society we hold or what color our skin or how intelligent we are perceived to be. We are to hold all people to equal value in our eyes, each seen as a precious creation, a precious jewel in the crown of life.
Much too often, however, we shun those we see as having lesser value. We convince ourselves they don’t belong in our circle of influence because they don’t match the criteria. We avoid the mentally ill, we chastise those who choose another path and we ignore the homeless and hurting. Instead of honoring the one true God by making others feel like they belong, we treat ourselves as gods only concerned with the people in our circle.
But to all people God says, “..you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). We all belong, and we are all welcome. Each one of us is a miracle prepared for good works.
All of us need help and direction. All of us are unworthy. But God accepts us as His own anyway. Just like Christ made those who were considered the least in society to feel worthy of His love, so should we.
No matter who you are, you belong to God and you his treasure. He doesn’t just accept the brightest or the boldest or the best looking. He accepts you for who you are, warts and all. We belong because we are His creation. May we all accept His invitation to be among saved. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank you for making us to feel like we belong. Instill in us a sense of family towards all our brothers and sisters on earth. Amen.