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Topic: Rejection (11/15/04)
By Rachel Rossano
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Smiling in response to another’s smile, she continued down the aisle of the church and chose a seat for her and her husband for the morning service. Setting down her and her husband’s Bibles, she sat down and folded her hands in her lap. Lowering her eyes she tuned out the conversations around her and the background music.
“How does this happen?” Sarah asked. Andrea had started attending the church almost a year ago. A young Christian, enthusiastic for Christ and His church, she seemed to fit in instantly. Andrea and Sarah had hit it off well. They had some similar interests and the friendship that followed had not been deep, but Sarah would have counted Andrea among her more enjoyable friends. She had been one of the few Sarah had seen outside of church activities and functions.
Shaking herself mentally, Sarah frowned. “It is not final,” she told herself. Yet somehow she knew. She had seen it too often lately. A church member expresses discontent with how the church’s ministry is meeting his or, in this case, her social needs. Then the person resigns the ministries that she is involved in and suddenly disappears. No goodbyes. No I will see you later. No answering the phone. The relationships that were once warm and encouraging are suddenly cold and dead with no alternative.
“Don’t they know they leave behind friends who still care?” she asked God. “It makes no sense. She didn’t leave because she disagreed with the message or even the way it was being taught. She didn’t express an issue with any one person or relationship. She simply said we were not enough. I guess we did not meet her exact needs the way she wanted them met. I don’t know what to do, Father?”
It was then Sarah realized there were few things she needed to do. Prayer was the first and best. So she would pray that the Lord would keep Andrea and lead her to a church where she could grow in her walk with Christ. She would ask that the Lord guide Andrea to maturity so she would see that the purpose of a church was not to feed her social needs, but to feed her spiritual needs. Just because few members were of her specific social situation did not mean that they could not have nurtured her and been her church family.
She would also pray for healing. She was not the only one hurt by Andrea’s leaving. Praying for wisdom about what to say to others hurt by this, Sarah turned her attention the morning service and renewing her strength in the Lord.