Have you ever felt left out? Not part of the cool kids? Forgotten or overlooked? I’ve been there. It wasn’t intentional, but I wasn’t on the radar of those that I wanted to have include me into their lives.
At what point do I need to put myself on their radar, and at what point is it just careless of the other to not even notice that I’m standing right here in front of them?
I grow weary and frustrated, unsure if I should take action or continue lurking in the spotlight waiting for their attention to shift to me. It is terribly awkward and exhausting to mentally analyze this social dynamics trainwreck happening.
Suddenly everything changes. It is a mutual shift. I overcome my fears and awkwardness of being noticed, and their heart shifts to seeing more.
This is what happened for me, and what I have observed in the weeks following WHO Koinonia.
I’ve been touched to watch people who were previously unknown step forward just enough to say “here I am” as the body responds “we see you, we know you”. It reminds me greatly of a song by Bellarive entitled “I know you”:
It is freeing to be in a group of believers that can see our deepest and truest identity with all our fears, failures, and insecurities laid bare and to know that through it all we, I, am loved, wanted, sought out, appreciated, and honored. This fuels me to see and treat others in kind.
Several weeks have passed, and the temptation to return to our old nature is still very real. We can so easily slip back into the habit believing we are left out yet again. We stop sharing our insecurities and accept that we aren’t noticed, or worse yet, we start overlooking each other. Resist this old way. Notice where that creeps back in.
We stand tall,
for we are daughters,
we are sons.
We bear the mark of our Creator.
Step straight in to this love.
I feel your heartbeat thump,
I just want to stay here, here where I belong.
An invitation to a place my soul has known throughout the ages.
Here you alone
Are calling for all of me to take you in.
Hungry, Busy, Paralyzed, Dejected, Surrendered, Complete
Hungry: There have people among us that are so hungry for fellowship from years of being merely an observer rather than an active part of the body that they are ready to dive in full force and show up at everything they are invited to. This is great. Involve them. While they are catching up, be mindful to build lasting relationships.
Busy: There are others who are so full, so busy, that while they want to be at every single possible thing… they need some time to rest. They are neither overlooking members of the body nor obligated to always be present. We want them in our midst, but we hold no judgements and apply no pressure about their availability. Come and go as you can.
Paralyzed: A few have quietly shared that they have nothing to contribute after such a weekend. They feel as though they should have something profound to share or bad that they haven’t. The truth here is, you contribute you. It isn’t words written, songs sung. What we need is your presence with us, no matter the distance. We hold only the expectation that we can experience who God has called you to be. Nothing more, nothing less.
Dejected: Some other people have felt so neglected and overlooked that they have given up on this local body and sought out other places. For them, my heart aches. I was inches from falling off that cliff myself. Wrongs of the past on either end must be let go and healing must begin. I want to call them all home. Yet – maybe they have moved on permanently and are well-fit elsewhere. This is okay in it’s truest form, but not acceptable to let the past wounds go unhealed. For those that have not moved on and haven’t found any other group to be in close communion with… it’s time to come out again.
Surrendered: For others, they are so drawn to the family that they are making every opportunity to be together. They are learning the nuances of administrative organization. To be a true administrator means coordinating events that benefit all, hearing all inputs, and making the best choices. At times, people may feel that their ideas or contributions are overlooked. That’s hard. At other times, too many voices just make a bit of a mess of things. The goal is to make things work for one common good, with no one feeling left out. To get there, individuals must surrender their will. We move as one body. It is beautiful to watch this happen.
Complete: Finally, the global church body and people that will come to know Jesus – they have been left out for so long on what living in a state of koinonia actually means. We spread this culture as we go and grow. We work together toward the completion of His body.
His Heart, Our Goal, Together We Yield to Him
In this place of truly seeing one another, loving one another, and doing family together, we have just one goal in mind. We seek His heart. We learn to yield to one another, to regard each other, and to be sure no one is left out. We let go of our agendas and embrace His agenda.
I’ll leave you with one more song by Bellarive. It’s entitled “The Father’s Heart”. To me, this is a reminder. We are one big family, one body… and I want everyone joined together in a common union – in communion – with Him. This is koinonia, this is family.
Like a child running wild straight into His arms, we will never be let go. Feel and dance to the rhythm of our Father’s heartbeat.