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You Belong
Maybe it’s because we live in a windy Valley, but every summer I have volunteer flowers show up in some unusual places. A yellow pansy blooming in our front lawn and a red snapdragon blooming in the middle of my pink petunias surprised me this year. Both had been planted in our back yard last summer.

I have a soft spot for these “volunteer” flowers. And I never pull them up. I figure that if they worked hard enough to make it through the previous winter and find a new place, they deserve to live. I’m sure that a professional landscaper would tell me that I should remove them because they just don’t belong where they are, but I can’t.

Lone Red Snapdragon

Yesterday, when I was watering my large flowerbed full of pink petunias--and the one, lone red snapdragon--I thought of the people I know who feel like they don’t belong:

The couple that quit coming to church because they feel they don’t socially fit in.

The woman who feels like an outcast at work because her co-workers are slender, and she struggles with her weight.

The young man who feels inferior at school because he learns more slowly than his classmates.

The teenage girl who doesn’t get invited to parties because she’s not in the “cool” group.

The man whose friends never invite him to golf at the Country Club because of his lack of job status.

And I thought: Why do we sometimes allow people to make us feel this way? Who says that they are the judge of who “belongs” and who doesn’t?

Thankfully, in God’s eyes we all belong. We are all equal. Here are some excerpts from Ephesians 2:16-22 that prove this: “Christ brought us together through his death on the cross. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father. That's plain enough, isn't it? You're no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You're no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone.”

So whether you feel like a pansy among blades of grass or a snapdragon among petunias, don’t allow anyone to make you feel that you don’t fit in. Hold your head high, look people in the eye, talk, laugh and share your opinion.

You are unique. You are special. And you belong.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE ®.

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