I’m writing this as a shout out to you if you are feeling the sting of rejection, if you’ve been pushed out, if you’ve been made to feel unwelcome.

A few years ago, my wife and I belonged to a small group filled with all of our best friends. We loved it and we loved them. But the group came to an end. Sad, but understandable. Everyone was busy. Then a month later, we discovered the group was still meeting—a different time, a different place, but all the same people with one important subtraction—us.

The “Not Welcome” sign has been waved in my face for many reasons over the years: the clothes I wore, the way I talked, my politics, my theology, my influence, and, yeah, to be honest, sometimes for my mistakes. I can think of at least three former “best friends” who today will have nothing to do with me.

Where does all that leave me? By itself, it would leave me feeling pretty low.

But for me, one thing above all others has made a big difference.

Jesus. The Bible describes Jesus as “despised and rejected by men.” It says He came to His own, but His own received Him not. The mass of humanity says, “We will not have this man [Jesus] ruling over us.”

I hang out with Jesus.

He gets it. He understands. He doesn’t need to be part of the cool kids club. He seems to like me. Despite my clothes, my car, my politics, even my mistakes, He still likes me. He likes hanging out with me.

That makes me happy.

Heaven is a place where all its citizens belong. And I spend a lot of time thinking about how we could create the same kind of arrangement here on earth. If that’s something that interests you, talk to me.


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