Inclusion–the gift that doesn’t cost a penny but makes a world of difference.

 

lonley

Exclusion.

Now, that’s an awkward feeling. It happens when you are with people who don’t really want you around. Or even worse, no one notices you are even in the room.

Then, there’s that sinking feeling when you realize that

  1. no one’s called.
  2. no one’s emailed.
  3. No one can quite remember your name.

It hurts.

There’s only one cure.

Inclusion.

Inviting disconnected people in your

  • circle of conversation.
  • ideas.
  • social and church community.
  • home.

During one of the hardest times in my life, I was given a tremendous gift. It was a time when I felt like I didn’t really belong anywhere. 

The Garcia family invited me over for lunch.

I was a hungry college student. So I went.

Again and again and again.

Even after thirty years, I still remember the smooth white balls of dough lined up on the kitchen counter waiting to be made into tortillas.

I remember lying on the floor while the four Garcia kids climbed over me.  Sometimes I just hung around and listened to the mom and dad and spinster sister talk about their day. 

More than once, they woke me up and sent me home after I had fallen asleep on their floor.

Just writing about it makes me wonder how many kinds of weird I was back then. The 19 year old woman slouching in the corners of other people’s lives.

But, this family never seemed to mind. They allowed me to enter their personal lives. Be a part of conversation. Family devotions. Laughter. I even prayed with them through their hard times.

All I wanted was to belong.

That’s the gift they gave to me.

That’s the gift I want to pass on.

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