Jul 19, 2013

You don't belong here - FMF

You don't belong here.  My inner voice whined as I backed onto a bench and watched my children play with friends they just made during Sunday school.

I sat and watched the people around me hug and talk and connect.

Children wove between bodies, run and squealing, getting cookies and punch.

Parents kept an eye on their off-spring with patient endurance while they chatted with other adults laughing and gesturing.

I was visiting my sister and we attended her church, and waited for awhile during the fellowship time after the service.

I considered my church home and how often I remembered to connect with an unfamiliar face after a service, or if I tend to focus only on my friends and those believers I know.  I decided that I rarely look up to see a lonely face waiting to be recognized.

We all like to feel like we belong.  To be embraced and brought into the group.

When I sat and watched the people connect and embrace each other, I began to feel invisible and over-looked.  I wasn't sitting in the corner feeling sorry for myself, but I began to feel convicted that I am guilty of enjoying the feeling of belonging I have at my church, while {at times} completely ignoring the visitor, who is looking for a place to belong and connect.

The more I thought about it, the more I decided I would be more intentional about helping new visitors to feel that sense of belonging.

The next week, I promptly forgot.  I hadn't talked to my friends for ages, we didn't have a chance to grab the new visitor before they left.

My conviction continues, my actions fail. 

Hebrews 13: 1 Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

It's hard to show hospitality when you are trying to get your own needs met.  How do you balance the need to connect with members of your church family, and show hospitality to new visitors at the same time?

Romans 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Sounds like even Paul was encouraging us to do this.

Now to put it into practice...

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