Wanting To Be Noticed
by Vicki Molinari
In my home, the sports channels are a staple. Often, I walk into the room to see the screen revealing a heated competition of boxing, tennis, golf, baseball, football and even racing. My husband really enjoys being an armchair spectator, with an occasional "Did you see that?", as he looks over his shoulder to me.
The other day, he was watching the Open, a golf tournament. I followed along with him for a brief moment. I recognized some familiar faces of famous golfers, however, my eye was drawn to a golfer with bright orange slacks and hat to match. I did not recognize his name, he was new to the circuit. My initial thought? Apparently, he wants to be noticed. Seems to be a trend, longing to be noticed and receiving approval from our peers.. for the win!
Brought me back to a time as a child, I was feeling excluded and was desperate for approval. I was in elementary school. The popular girls decided I could not join them on their kickball team. Their words of rejection hurt and stung long after that day.
Recently, I saw a Facebook post describing a young girl being bullied in school. She was apparently "fat" and struggling to be included in the popular circle. She already felt excluded, at the young age of 8.
People can be cruel. It was evident when I was young and still the same some 40+ years later. Exclusion hurts.
How can we be people who do things differently, loving everyone?
The best examples are found in the Bible. Jesus loved the well known/popular and those who had been excluded, going out of his way to extend love where it wasn’t expected.
Oh, how the world would be different if we followed His example.
Jesus cared for children.
Jesus’ disciples were annoyed by the children. "Noisy" kids were not as important as adults whom Jesus was teaching. But Jesus told his disciples that the children could stay. He said “the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matt 19:13-15
Jesus talked to a "sinful woman".
When Jesus came to eat with the Pharisee, this woman began washing Jesus’s feet with a jar of costly perfume. The Pharisee was appalled that Jesus would let her touch his feet. But Jesus told the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:36-50.
Jesus ate with a tax collector.
Jesus went to Levi’s house to eat. He ate with tax collectors, the unpopular. It caused quite a stir, though it was natural to Jesus. Mark 2:13-17
Jesus drank water from the woman at the well.
In Jesus time, Jews did not hang with Samaritans, to such an extreme they would not use the same utensils. However, Jesus did not ignore the Samaritan woman at the well and that caused problems. He engaged her in conversation, used her cup to drink water and offered himself as living water. John 4:1-41
With Jesus, you no longer need to strive for approval.
No matter where you are in life, Jesus loves you. You have His approval and that is the best news I can give you. You will never be excluded by Him. May you find comfort in that and May you do all you can to get to know Him.