Tuesday, February 23, 2010


In general, I seem to be a social floater. My presence is accepted in and around a large variety of groups, but I am rarely invited to join a group as a full-fledged member. There are some exceptions to this statement, of course, but I am frequently struck by how often I have felt like an outsider even in my own communities. I look around me and see so many people with whom I cannot fully connect, people who seem different from me. At times the spaces between me and the people around me seem like chasms and I find myself wishing for an opportunity to truly belong.

I am not Southern enough to fit in with my hometown friends nor Midwestern enough to really mesh with my current neighbors. I am not conservative enough for most of my family or liberal enough for most of my friends. I am not a cradle Lutheran like most of the people at my church, and I don't share their Scandinavian heritage either. I am not creative, vivacious, or even old enough to belong in the personal circles of some of the people I like or admire most. My religious beliefs and expressions are unique things that few people seem willing to try to understand. I prioritize things that people around me consider foolish and I dream dreams that even my closest loved ones cannot comprehend or share.

I suspect that everyone feels this disconnect on some level. Even those people who love us the most do not have the power to see directly into our souls and understand who we truly are at every level. Only God can do that. Still, there is hope in that last sentence. God can truly understand us, and He accepts every aspect of our personalities because He created them. We belong with God. Sure, He's an all-powerful deity and we're just people, but we fit in with God because He designed us to. He made us in His own image so that we could be like Him. Someday I will make it to Heaven and I won't have to feel like I don't fit in anymore. God will perfect each of us so that we can live together in harmony, in a place where no one will feel hurt or left out anymore and everyone will belong. It's actually a relief to realize that I don't fit in here on Earth because it reminds me that I belong somewhere better.

In the meantime, it's important to realize that we're all in this together. None of us completely belongs in this world, and there's some commonality in that.

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