I remember it like yesterday: he was the handsome 13 year old. I was the girl who looked like she put her finger in the electrical socket. My hair never was something I could easily tame.
I had my eye on him for a while.
He was so handsome.
He was so funny.
He was so confident.
Now, as I looked at him, he was just standing there on the other side of the room. He looked alone. Sad even? No one was with him. Everyone else was dancing.
I really could ask him to dance.
I could, for once, try to be brave.
There’s always a chance.
My dress is pretty.
I mustered my inner beauty and asked him. He looked at me like I was a martian from an alternate universe.
“Uhh…well, we can’t dance because there are parents watching.”
I stared. There were parents watching the other 50 dancing children too. It didn’t stop them.
His head turned left and right; he was trying to see who was watching. He wanted to make sure no one saw him talking – to me.
I got the message. Head down, shoulders slumped and mind sure I’d never allow myself to get hurt like this again, I shuffled back to my spot. The seat at the table where no one else was.
I made a silent agreement, a firm handshake deal, with myself: I’ll leave man before man ever hurts me again like this!
This deal still lives. Even, today, I leave man. At first sign of injury, I turn my back on him.
If he has a word of advice, I take it as a sign of criticism and freeze over my heart. If he speaks too loudly, I take it as he’s ready to abandon me and I shut my mind down. If he does something wrong, I figure it is personal; I raise the security walls around my heart.
I run from man so man can’t run me over.
I’m not proud of it. I certainly don’t speak aloud of it. But, it’s true.
What about you?
Has man so injured you, that injustice plagues you? Nips at your skin? Pulls out the worst of you?
God’s pinged my heart with many arrows of rejection lately. Yet, like the loving cupid he is, I think he’s allowed me to get struck, so I can read the message of love attached to me.
It reads like this: He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. (Is. 53:3)
You see, God hit me with the truth: Jesus was rejected. Badly rejected.
But, what did Jesus do, in the face of his rejection?
Did he grab all his favorite robes and go hide out in a cave until man could pull his act together? No. Did he stop healing, loving and moving on earth because man was mean and insensitive? No. Did he turn away from loving, remembering the list of dirty laundry we flaunt nearly every day – in his face? No.
He trudged down a road with a back-breaking cross, digging deep into his skin – on account of me. He rode a lowly donkey that made him look like the village-idiot – on account of me. He made his heart available and accessible – on account of me.
Jesus didn’t let man’s rejection, give him license to reject man.
And, thank God this is the case. Look at what his alternate approach to rejection accomplished: it saved mankind.
What might we accomplish by responding to rejection – in a different way? In a loving way? In a mercy-giving way? In a grace-building way?
And, most of all, what might we save? Could it be our own heart? Our marriage? Our relationships? Our feelings? Or, most importantly, a special dance with God.
About the book, Fear Fighting, Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears:
Author and Speaker, Kelly Balarie didn’t always fight fear – for a large part of her life, she was controlled by it. Yet, in her book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, with God, Kelly charts a new course. Join Kelly, on the journey to go and grow with Christ’s bravery, the Spirit’s counsel and God’s unending love that squelches fear. This book reads like a love letter from God, while offering practical heart-calming prayers, anxiety-reducing tips, and courage-building decrees that will transform your day.