What’s up with ‘rejection’ these days? I just got off the phone with a close friend telling me about being shunned among her immediate family—how all the family members were invited to Easter Sunday Brunch, but her. We prayed together and I mumbled something about forgiveness, second-guessing myself; wondering if I had helped or worsened the situation. I realize rejection feels horrible and I’ve had a taste myself. Yet, what’s the solution?
Simply by living in a fallen world, we’ll suffer being unloved at times. Everyone wants to belong but the cold reality is ‘brush-offs’ play a major part in life. Whether it’s job applications, date requests, ideas offered, loss of relationships, career snubbing, friends (supposedly) and the list goes on.
A touching story found in Luke’s gospel about an undesirable woman and her alabaster jar of perfume shows the Lord’s sweet tenderness. Uninvited, she attends the dinner party anyway.
“When a certain immoral woman from that city heard He was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume…then, she knelt behind Him at His feet, weeping, her tears fell on His feet and she wiped them off with her hair” (Luke 7:37-38 Amplified).
Reports of Jesus’ healings must have reached this desperate, shameful woman but her strong desire to honor Him was far greater than her fear of rejection. Also, to obtain freedom from the dark heaviness of her past was worth the risk. Mere words couldn’t express her humble gratitude and she didn’t even speak. Just wept. She came into His presence broken but left whole.
Although ridiculed and mocked, she held nothing back while spending her life savings; which brought her near the only One who could rescue her soul. When the jar of incense broke open, her chains of hopelessness vanished. Jesus reminded the guests, “her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much” (v 47). Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace” (v 50).
Certainly, it’s a healthy attitude to accept rejection as part of life’s luggage and to acknowledge what really matters is finding a way to bounce back and try again. Or, we could bring our unbearable pain to the Lord [with healing in His wings] (Malachi 4:2); lay it down beneath His nail-scarred feet and be made complete.