August 11, 2016
As I told the story once again about the “flood” at the church building, I seemed to notice in the face of the listener a sadness. Maybe not sadness, but regret. Maybe not even that, but something. Something that seemed to say, I hate I missed that.
Now I may be imagining the look, but it made me reflective. I remembered times after I moved away from home when mom or dad would tell me about “situations” at the house that they had dealt with, without me being there. I didn’t feel a part anymore of the day-to-day household happenings, and even though it was my choice to move away and I was glad to be “on my own,” I missed being in the thick of things. It's like I was a part of the family, but not really as much as I once was.
Perhaps that was it. The listener(s) weren’t “home” when the flood happened. Not that they should have been, but not being there meant they missed being a part of something that gave a particular group a bonding experience. That kind of thing happens a lot - fellowship events, worship services, committee planning meetings, mission/service opportunities, etc. These are all “things” where people gather and a bonding experience happens between those present. But what about those that don’t choose to come, or can’t? Then the thought came to me, folks that are a part of something want to feel they are really a part of it, not just on the fringes. And doesn’t really feeling a part of something cause folks to want to be more a part of that something?
With all that said, are we doing all we can to make ways available for folks to really feel a part of things? Do we do enough to invite folks to participate in all kinds of ways? Are we unintentionally causing folks to feel “left out” and thereby not needed? And if we are doing any of these, what do we need to do to make it better?