In the Lion King movie, Scar orchestrates the death of Mufasa and he is successful. After Mufasa died, the first to arrive on the scene is his son, Simba. While the shock of his father’s death is sinking in, Scar arrives and asks Simba. “What have YOU done?”
When rejection comes into our lives, the first thing most people hear is that sentence. “What have you done?” Somehow you are responsible for the rejection. We clothe ourselves with what happened. As a rape survivor said awhile back. “What is wrong with me!! I must be fucking defective!!” Somehow we find a way to make it our fault. We cover ourselves with sadness and gloom. Guilt. Shame. Humiliation.
Many of us experienced this in school. Kids can be exceptionally brutal. During counselling a young lady started to pull her hair out. She had beautiful red hair. She hated them. She bared the brunt of the teasing in her school. One day she looked in the mirror and heard a voice telling her it is because she has red hair that everybody treats her this way. It was her fault.
Some of us experienced rejection in the church, where a sinner was unexpectedly found. “Oh, the horror”. Let’s crucify him/her.
Then there is the slow death of loneliness. It creeps up on us. In the background, the voice remains. “What have you done? This is your fault.” You are not special, enough. You bear the burden. You carry the load. This is yours to keep. You are ALONE.
We hide. We play is the dark. We cover up. Outside we are “fine”. We smile. We’re OK. But on the inside we are ALONE. We scream to a God that does not hear us. Why should He? Why would He want to love me anyway? (We need a reason to be loved.).
I experienced this. We moved a lot and in one of the schools I was bullied. While playing one day, I was shoved down an embankment. Got 5 stitches in the leg for that one. But the bullying was more psychological than physical. One of my teachers died on my birthday. He was hit by lightning. The children accused me and told me it was my fault that he died. I did not understand what was happening. What did I do wrong? I was 12 years old. We moved a year and a half later. By that time I valued friendship a lot. But in the new school a friend betrayed me and that was the end for me. I remember walking around and took a grim oath that I will never open up to anybody again. I WILL smile. I WILL look happy. In a way I killed who I was. But one thing I knew for certain. I was not special. So I became everybody’s friend. Blending into the background. I was there for people, but never allowed people to be there for me. I knew who I was.
In our second year at university we went on a Christian camp. God, The Father, came to me and told me, He loved me. Not only that, He likes me. I rebelled. I told Him He was out of His mind. I can understand Him loving all the other people, but me? No way. Why the hell would He want to? Did He not know me? Did He not know that I was a nobody? I was “defective”. I told Him to leave me alone. It took 4 of those camps to crack my walls. God, The Father, came and opened my heart to myself. It was terrible. He spoke of stuff only I knew about. After that I had no place to hide. This was between Him and me. I broke down. “You win, Father. I don’t know why, but You love me.” It was the most wonderful lost fight in my life. He gave me these verses. (Put your own name in the place of Joshua)
Zec 3:1 In another vision the LORD showed me the High Priest Joshua standing before the angel of the LORD. And there beside Joshua stood Satan, ready to bring an accusation against him.
Zec 3:2 The angel of the LORD said to Satan, “May the LORD condemn you, Satan! May the LORD, who loves Jerusalem, condemn you. This man is like a stick snatched from the fire.”
Zec 3:3 Joshua was standing there, wearing filthy clothes.
Zec 3:4 The angel said to his heavenly attendants, “Take away the filthy clothes this man is wearing.” Then he said to Joshua, “I have taken away your sin and will give you new clothes to wear.”
In life, we usually hear 2 voices. One accuses and takes us away from God. The other one takes us towards God. The one that leads us back to God, can sometimes be more frightning. It takes us out of our hiding place. It takes us out of the darkness. It causes us to be vulnerable all over again. We bring this “mess”, called “I”, to God the Father. Trust that has been burried gets out of the grave. He sees you. Runs. Pick you up. There is a silence. You don’t know what to say. A sob escapes from somewhere deep. You cannot stop it. The dam breaks and you cry. You cry for the pain. You cry for the lost years. You cry for yourself. Suddenly there is a wail above your crying. You look up. He cries with you. His tears are like raindrops. He holds you tight. Rocking back and forth. Time passes. After what feels like an eternity, He puts you on your feet. Suddenly there is a loud thunderous clap. You look up. You look in His eyes and you know. You will never look down again. Never again will you hide. Love begins to flow into you.
Suddenly the accuser is back. “What have you done, he shrieks?” You turn to him. You look him in the eye. Does it matter? I am loved by the Father.