I have gone over and over the reasons I left the E.R. this past Friday- permanently. There will never be another chance to comfort the least of these-no, not in that particular place. I will have other chances, of this I am sure-I truly yearn to be of comfort to those who are nursing their wounds, both physical and mental. I assume part of my drive is due to the upheaval and pain I have suffered in my own life-but more than that I have always fought for the underdog.
A few weeks ago, we were invited to the house of friends of ours at church. Delightful couple-I jumped at the chance. Who’s going to turn down ribs and a swim? Not this girl. We were so popular when we imbibed-nary a weekend went by without a party, cook out or pub gathering. Things change when you find sobriety-and I’ll be blunt-the partiers don’t want to hang out with the sober-not now, not ever. Now we make friends who don’t need to be drinking to have a good time. Funny, charming and compassionate Christians, who know a thing or two about persecution and loneliness. As we arrived at their lovely home, Joyce led me into the living room. She began speaking of her utter and complete isolation when dealing with groups of women-
“Why? I don’t understand what I have done. I was in a book group for THREE years, and not one of those women dropped me a note, asked me out for coffee, or even talked to me at meetings.” She shed bitter tears, tears I immediately recognized as my own; shed during times when the pain is just to much to handle-why, why would people shun us in this manner? What was it about us?
“I have prayed about that very question, and God’s answer was sufficient. He told me that I am not a part of this world. I am a child of God, and his children are persecuted, alienated and shat upon. But it’s okay-we have each other.”
At this she smiled, sighed true relief, and calmed her ruffled feathers.
This fact was brought home to me the other evening, when discussing my perplexing plight concerning my good friend’s beach house-and the fact that it’s been three years and not one invite extended.
“Honey, I truly think it’s because she likes to party.”
At this point I wouldn’t accept an invitation, to be frank. I will take the good people God has sent my way. I will cherish them, as friends should be cherished.
Not being a part of this world has been a daily, and often torturous reality.
And if I am to be honest-from this point on?
It’s my way-my way or the highway.