I was walking with someone the other day, and in the course of the conversation, they said to me that they became my friend because they had a hunch that I was an outcast.
That word stung and pained me. It brought up the wound from the pit of my being. I started to wonder how many people came into my life because they felt the same.
What is an outcast? Someone rejected over and over again by groups they want to belong to.
If I am truthful, there is a pattern of rejection, abandonment and “ghosting” that has happens in my life again and again for reasons I don’t understand. No conflict. No issue. Just plain rejection. Something no one ever bothers to speak to my face. It’s left a great deal of pain in the pit of my gut.
Naturally I always wonder: What is wrong with me? And in response, Jesus always tells me: Nothing is wrong with you. Psalm 139. Fearfully and wonderfully made.
I have experienced this throughout my life as a child, adolescent and even adult. I have experienced this in school, at work, and in church and social circles.
You wouldn’t think I would be rejected because I’m privileged in many respects: white, upper middle class, well-educated, well-employed, higher income, recognized, slender and healthy looking, able-bodied, with virtually nothing wrong on the outside.
But what it teaches me is that an outcast may be someone in our midst every day. They may look privileged. They may look like an every day person. They may not have anything wrong with them on the outside. But maybe inside that person is broken in some respect, or maybe they just live differently from the crowd, or maybe they are just rejected for reasons unknown to them.
From one who was called an outcast, let me challenge you to the question of: Who is the outcast in your midst, and how are you treating them?