Do you know the yoga move Chicken Looks For Her Contact?
Probably not since it is an inside joke. To this day, a well-placed chicken reference can flatten me out.
An ill-timed look between people when I am neither the giver nor the receiver can annoy, sadden, or leave me feeling out of some in-group I probably don’t even WANT to be in.
Eden lost speaks of “you’re not one of us” or “you’re not wanted here.” It’s defined by isolation, being not wanted, and is full of outcasts who are unconnected.
Belonging, in the best sense, is a series of concentric circles. Threads of connection.
In the center is ourselves – we start by belonging to ourselves (and yes, I’ve seen the image where Jesus needs to sit at the center of lives on the chair. I agree, but in this image the trinity permeates all circles). I repeat, we first must belong to ourselves.
Moving out we belong to smaller groups. Family. Friends. Clubs. Where we know others and are known.
Kim, Marla, Amy, Lisa, Tom, Marsha, Elizabeth, Laura, Del, Sue, Emily, Katy, Anna, Chloe, Jenny, Dan, Mike, Anne, Steph, Michelle, Book Club, BLT, my gym, Small group, This church.
Outside circles make space for larger groups like schools, teams, States.
Colorado, Kansas, Sichuan, Beijing, KU!!, The Jayhawks, The Denver Broncos, This school, That profession, book readers, Zumba-ers, Righthanded people whose favorite day is Tuesday (OK, we can go over-board with anything).
Taken on the surface, many teams and mascots are unnecessary. But dig a little deeper, they are a way of speaking belonging in a world that longs to belong. Colors, mascots, and traditions allow people to join a story bigger than you, with a history, and will go on after you … yet you are still needed and wanted in the here and now. You belong.
Belonging allows us to maintain our unique identities – if ever you are asked to change too much of yourself for another, that is not belonging, that is manipulation masquerading as belonging.
I can’t grasp how we will all return to Eden with our uniqueness and various groupings without fostering loneliness, isolation, ignoring and not wanting people on your team. I can’t grasp it because that’s not the way in Eden Lost.
Today, if Eden Lost says you’re not wanted, you don’t belong … remember that a day will come when the inside jokes and looks and gestures will no longer be hurtful because you, you will belong!
All the posts in the series will be added to this page each day of October. If you would like to receive these reminders in your email inbox, subscribe now. I am enjoying the journey together. Amy