What does belonging mean to you? Feeling safe and comfortable in the presence of others you love and trust? Being part of a group or organisation which holds similar beliefs to you? Having a close group of friends who know you almost as well as you know yourself?
Those examples of feeling like we belong, are sadly ones that some have never known – they don’t have loving/caring family; they don’t feel safe or comfortable in anyone else’s presence; they’re not part of a group or organisation which holds the same interests or beliefs as them.
There can even be those who, even although to others they appear to be part of a loving/caring family, or have a great support network of friends or family around them, or even belong an organisation with likeminded individuals, still feel as though they have no close friends or family.
They may feel like an outsider in every aspect of their life, even when with people they consider friends. They may not know how to interact with with others, they may not have had experience of belong while they were growing up. They may stand in the middle of a crowded room and still feel like they’re in an empty room. They may feel like no-one notices them, or needs them. They may feel as if even when they aren’t there, no-one notices. They may never feel like they truly belong.
That’s an incredibly sad picture I’ve just painted isn’t it? The sad part is, the main reason people feel they don’t belong, is because the other there don’t treat them as if they belong, and that is even worse!
There is good news though, even if in life, we feel like we don’t belong, God will never treat us that way, as there are no outsiders when it comes to God’s love.
So if ever you feel like you don’t belong, that you’re an outsider, remember you’re not an outsider to God.
There are no outsiders to Your love We are all welcome, there's grace enough When I have wandered Lord, your cross is the open door There are no outsiders I'm not an outsider to Your love