Somebody I know walked up to me the other day while I was shopping and said, “You’re in the wrong place.” It was certainly not my usual place to shop, but it was quite right as I had been visiting my husband in hospital and this shop was on my way home. I’m sure the person did not mean to make me feel out of place but what was said added to my sense of alienation and ‘alone-ness’.
We all feel the need to belong. Many of us can remember the pain of being the last one to be picked for the team at school, or being left alone in the playground while everyone else was playing together. This sense of isolation can also extend into adulthood as many feel they are ‘outsiders’, not belonging to the group or church they would like to feel a part of, and it causes a great deal of pain.
Jesus had a wonderful way of dealing with those on the margins of society or who felt themselves to be outsiders. He called the woman with the issue of blood, who had been isolated from society for twelve long years because of her condition, ‘Daughter’ – a beautiful word of inclusion in the family which must have touched the depths of her spirit, (Luke 8: 48). He went to stay at the house of Zacchaeus, the hated tax collector, (Luke 19: 2). And in front of the righteous men at Simon the Pharisee’s house, He showed His love and acceptance of the sinful woman who anointed Him (Luke 7: 46). These are just a few examples of many we can find in the Gospels.
When we feel most alone, we can always know that Jesus is with us, and I quickly reminded myself of that the other day and was comforted at a difficult time.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You showed love and consideration to those on the edge of society. There are times when I feel isolated and alone. Please help me to remember those wonderful words, that You will never leave us or forsake us and that we truly belong in Your Family. I am so grateful. Amen.
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