He turns the rusty door knob and slowly makes his way out the door, the back of his head is the only memory she will ever have. She goes on to live out her life thinking rejection is all she deserves. Rejection is now who she has become. The closing of a door has changed her life forever. She is now a street-walker who seeks all the acceptance she needs in the arms of numerous men who are looking for love in all the wrong places. The streets are littered with defenseless women who have been told in one way or another that they are not valuable. Abraham had the fear of rejection, He lied to a ruler about his marriage to his wife Sarah just to save his own neck. Aaron was a people-pleaser who gave into the Israelite people while his brother was camping out with God. David killed his best friend and slept with his wife and then tried to hide because he didn’t want to deal with the consequences. I made fun of a special needs student because I knew if I did the right thing I might not be popular anymore. The idea of rejection is a scary one. At the heart of the fear of rejection is this feeling that we might not be valuable, that we might be unlovable and unacceptable. These messages will forever alter the course of our emotional development. They will transform rape victims into shadows that fear intimacy. They will whisper dishonest accusations to the guy who runs into the arms of a woman seeking acceptance. Or to the woman who chases after the embrace of another woman because her mother walked out on her when she was a fragile little girl swinging on swings and scribbling on walls. We become the things we do. We our altered by the decisions of others. Rejection is the silent
distance of who we are and who we become. The prophet Isaiah told a story of man who was going to come on the scene, and the way we knew that He was going to be the guy we were waiting for was that He wouldn’t be popular, he would be part of the rejected. He would be bruised for our screw-ups. Jesus relates himself to the outsider—to the unloved. He himself moves in next door and voluntarily puts himself into a place of impending vulnerability. A place we are all scared of. He was able to do that because His acceptance and identity was bound up in who God had made Him to be. He’s hanging out with a bunch of his close friends and He let’s them in on the reality that most of them will be rejected and turned away because of who they are to become while in relationship with Him. In one conversation, He tells Peter that one day some Roman officials are going to lead Him where He doesn’t want to go and He is going to die for Christ’s sake. Paul later tells the church in Corinth that God is the one who qualifies us. The message that is really being sent is that if we follow Christ we will become part of the unlovable, we join the community of the marginalized, we will eventually be the outsider. In doing so, Christ is making us responsible for the outsiders, for the unloved. His message is that since God is the one who says we are all acceptable, our acceptability isn’t challenged by the rejection of others but enhanced by the truth that God loves us no matter what. The invitation is to believe that we are children who have a Father who loves us unconditionally and accepts us no matter where we are in the journey. This should empower us to become the outsider and fight for the unloved.