Later, as I was visiting with someone else, I mentioned that odd feeling. They, too, had gotten that feeling at times, from that same family. It's probably unintentional. Most things like that are, yet it still puts off an odd feeling vibe that makes me think.
Hmmm...."You don't belong here."
There's a wonderful song we sing. I love the meaning and the lyrics. It's by The Collingworth Family.
We’re part of the family
That’s been born again
Part of the family
Who’s love knows no end
For Jesus has saved us
And made us His own
Now we’re part of the family
That’s on its way homeAnd sometimes we laugh together
Sometimes we cry
Sometimes we share together
Heartaches and sighs
Sometimes we dream together
Of how it will be
When we all get to heaven
Using the scenario above....when I felt like I didn't belong...imagine a family visiting your worship services on a Sunday morning. They come in and perhaps are greeted with a hello at the door, but no one else speaks to them. No one asks them to sit near them. The songs may be new and they may not recognize them. They may not really know many people sitting in the pews. People look at them and smile, figuring that someone else knows who they are...or they're related to them. No one offers to take them to eat lunch. No one invites them back. No one asks anything about them. They just kind of smile or nod and go on their way.
Now, what do you think will happen when this family gets to their car? What will they talk about on the way home? Will they mention the unfriendly atmosphere? Will they have felt welcome? Will they feel like anyone cared? Will they feel like I did: You don't belong here?
Maybe in this scenario, the family wasn't yet "part of the family". Maybe they weren't Christians yet. Would they want to be, after being in the service and not feeling a part?
You see, the way we act is important, but the way other perceive how we act may be even more important. As we scurry around doing all we need to do as we live our lives, we must be aware of those around us. How are we appearing to them? No, we can't make everyone happy. We can't please them all, but let's make sure - for certain - that we aren't making anyone feel as if they don't belong. If we do, in the spiritual sense, why would they ever want to belong? That certainly wouldn't look like the church Jesus died for, would it?? No. Not at all. Jesus died for God family - where everyone is welcome. Jesus says, "You belong here. I will forgive any sins you have ever committed. Come and follow me."