The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.
A few weeks ago, I attended a writer’s conference with a friend. While we were at lunch, one of the other writers asked to sit at our table. She was also new to the group, and we chatted pleasantly for a while about our projects and backgrounds. But then, quite suddenly, she stopped chatting. Her face closed down. A few minutes later she excused herself from our company and left the table.
My friend laughed off the writer’s abrupt departure, saying that we apparently didn’t ‘make the cut’, but the dissing upset me. Suddenly I was back in junior high, being passed over when they chose the volleyball teams.
Of course, the reason I wasn’t picked for the team was because I stank at volleyball, but that’s a point for another writing (grin). The point of this writing is that rejection, though psychological, is every bit as painful as being stabbed by a physical sword.
The rhyme “Names can never hurt me” is a big fat lie. Names can hurt plenty. Rejection is a wound on the soul. When left untreated, it can fester and even kill.
Jesus was a friend to sinners, women and even, gasp, gentiles! He interfered with an adulterous woman’s stoning, lovingly pointing out both her and her accusers’ sins before forgiving her and urging her to ‘sin no more’. Most remarkable to me, He showed compassion to Nicodemus, one of the Pharisees who basically trashed His mission at every turn. In other words, though He was ‘the stone the builder rejected’, he didn’t reject anyone. Not even the people who rejected Him.
In Christ, there is no such thing as ‘Not making the cut’.
Update: This writing was to have a different ending, but then came the horrible news of Robin William’s suicide. The man who had a smile for everyone had none for himself. His wife revealed he suffered from Parkinson’s. I know something about this disease, because the Associate Director of our Healing Ministry, Dick Mead, has it.
Years ago, when Dick came to the Glennon House, he could barely walk, couldn’t dress or feed himself. He feared that he would become a useless burden to his family. Fast forward to now, when Dick is as active as anyone, though he still shakes a bit (He jokes that if you want to mix a martini, he’s your man). Dick travels the area giving a wonderful testimony on HOPE through Christ. Recently he walked his oldest daughter down the aisle. He is fond of saying, “I have Parkinson’s, but by the grace of God, Parkinson’s does not have ME!”
I wish Mr. Williams could have heard this message. I wish he understood that his fans admired him not so much for his brilliant repartee, but for his kind and generous heart. Perhaps he feared he would not ‘make the cut’ with his fans once his ability to tell jokes became impaired, and that he’d face rejection. We can’t know why. But what I can do is to point to Dick Mead, a flesh and blood example of Christ’s tangible healing power in this world. I can show you HOPE.
Diseases, depression and rejection are very real problems. But I proclaim along with Dick Mead, that while we might have troubles, by the grace of God, these troubles do no have to have us!