The boomers were known as the “throw away generation.” We truly developed the idea of disposable items for convenience hence, the title. We may have taken that concept a little too far. Because the irony is we are becoming the thrown away.
Author’s Note: I’ve been working on this post since last Thursday. It is a hard one to write. I tried giving it up to the “not published” pile. But this one would not be denied. Nothing else worked. I prayed over this writing. It’s long and starts in a dark place. The Spirit wouldn’t let me let this go. So here it is. Please bear with me here in the beginning because I love God’s ending. I hope you do too.
The fact that I myself am disposable hit me hard last week. At least I am disposable to some people. I’m fighting a bitterness that wants to settle in my soul towards those pushing me away. The seed of bitterness is struggling to grow into a seedling. Another hurt fertilized the bitterness last week.
Becoming the “Golden Girl” at work in my thirties and forties was great, fantastic even. It felt good to be trusted and valued. The corner office was so nice while it lasted. A few things led to the demise of my career: My health, the economy, family needs, and my 50th birthday.
After I turned fifty I discovered my experience was suddenly discounted. It is no longer valued. My managers appear to be waiting for me to retire. I like a challenge and my position no longer challenges me. Over the last few years, I have applied for positions and talked to my managers about new opportunities. I’m told I am doing a great job but… (Insert excuse here). I do not seem to be enough anymore. Discouraged I’ve given up using my skills in the workplace.
The part that hurt this past week is seeing a slew of promotions and being ignored, or worse snubbed. I want to contribute. I want my skills to be valued. I feel like the balled up piece of paper that overshot the trash can and just never got picked up. I’m hiding out in the corner just hoping to make it to the 30 year mark. This sense of being old and useless makes it hard to get out of bed on any given Monday morning, including today! All of this got me thinking about Jesus. Did Jesus throw anyone away like we do? Does God ever give up?
By his actions, Jesus gave us a lot of lessons on how to live our values. What did he do? I thought about Jesus’ interactions with people. A few weeks ago I learned about Jesus with Jarius and the woman of faith (Mark 5) and how Jesus called for the little children (Mark 10:14). He didn’t throw them away.
Jesus doesn’t throw us away. He loves us whether we are young, healthy, old, in-between generations, sick, good, bad, or indifferent. He didn’t listen when people grumbled about his visits to tax collector Zacchaeus and Levi’s homes [Luke 19:1-10; Luke 5:27-32]. He did the unheard of for a man in his position. He touched the unclean like the Leper in Luke 5:12-16. If I understand what my Lord is teaching, he loves even what we call evil people. He hates our evil and sinful actions but loves the sinner.
I am watching the world around me divide itself. I watch the division unfold on the news. I watch the cliques form at work and in our schools. Maybe like me, you are not in the right group. Maybe your values are different. Maybe you can’t say what they want you to say. Or do what they want us to do. Then we become the pariah. Whether it’s on the news, our work, or our homes, we become the thrown away.
I spent some time in prayer asking for forgiveness when I have done the same to others. Believe you me I have! While I’m working to change my responses and attitudes, I asked God about the ones that push me away (like my father). The whisper said what did Jesus do when He was pushed away? I had to think about it…
He let them go. I thought of the rich young man who couldn’t give up the stuff in his life [Matthew 19:16-23]. Or He left them; think about when people in Nazareth rejected Him [Mark 6:1-6]. He grew up them. He walked away from His hometown. He even instructed His disciples to shake the dust from their feet when they were not accepted for telling the truth [Matthew 10:14].
I don’t have to be a doormat. I don’t have to hide. I have not been thrown away by the King of kings! I can be friendly without being someone’s verbal punching bag. I don’t have to throw someone away for someone else’s favor. In following Christ, I found freedom from the need to be nice.
Today I’m asking God to give me the strength to hold my chin high. I might be older than most of my colleagues. And a youngster to my father but, I am still a daughter of the Living God! By golly! I’m a spiritual princess! How about you? Are you a princess or prince in the Realm! And we’re not talkin’ Milly’s puny little realm! We are talkin’ THE REALM!
Jesus gave us one commandment. It was to love one another. He lived his own commandment in his life here on earth. He touched the rich, the unclean, the poor, the dead, the sick, the joyful, the disciples…He touches me and He touches you…with Love
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.” [John 15:12 NABRE]
This is where we stop throwing our lives and people away. We start with Jesus’ one commandment. Let’s go forth in love and peace today,