a choice has put me in a very specific social setting a few times per week. i am with the same people, at the same place, pretty much doing the same thing. it's been this way for six weeks now.
for the most part we only know one another in this setting. most of us are not friends away from here. we simply meet here. three times a week.
there is a couple i've talked with from the beginning. we talk about what's going on there. we talk about what that means away from there. we talk.
on the same day we met, we met another. he's not around as often, we've spent less time with him.
today as we three talked he approached. we all said our hellos. then they continued with broader smiles, special actions of greeting, special words.
i was not invited, i was not 'in'.
(don't hear what i'm not saying... keep reading, please)
i felt a little saddened, perhaps a little jealous even. they do not know one another any better than they know me, but their ancestors unite them in a way that is beyond how well one knows another in the present. again and again i witness the something special between them.
there is no intent to harm. no intent to exclude. they are living their lives with smiles and fun and happiness, with community.
the point is not about the behavior. the point is me, or rather, Him.
i took this moment to my Father. my feelings are fickle things and can rarely be trusted. i know the truth: those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God (Romans 8:14). Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground (Psalm 143:10). no following these feelings around, His Spirit leads.
i was remembered back to school days. there were the brains, athletes, basket cases, princesses, and criminals (Breakfast Club :). i wasn't enough of any to be 'in'.
i was remembered to my first experience in the 'church'. i was new. no shared stories with the youth around me, leaving me out. eight years later the second church, my religious background was different - out.
(no boo-hoos. no self pity. again, don't read what i'm not typing)
there have always been places i was not 'in' for one reason or another. there always will be this side of heaven. it is what it is.
more so, it hurts to think of others that were not 'in' with me and mine.
who have i hurt? who have i excluded? who felt left out, alone?
Father, forgive me. my desire is to glorify You, to love You, to love others.
~ ~ ~ ~
i heard a follower say, "the only title i need is child of God"
i was reminded.
i am 'in' with The One, the Only Who Matters. because of Him my name is written in His book. His child, His daughter, His princess. He is Father, Abba God, Lover of my soul, King, Lord... i am His, He is mine. with Him i am in.
and how i praise Him that it is what it is! and how i praise Him that it will be what it will be! when we are with Him there, there will be no need for reminders because there will only be 'in'
until that time may we love because He first loved us. may we invite, may we embrace.
and on the occasions we are not invited may we not be offended, "And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”