With God You are Never Left Out
Feeling left out happens to all of us at some point in our lives. A friend invites other friends to a gathering and you are not included. A group of people are talking about a shared experience that you were not a part of and their chattiness and body language lets you know you are not included. There are countless versions of this experience of being left out. Being left out is another type of rejection.
Being overlooked or excluded from a group is painful. Even if it may appear to be simply an accidental oversight, the hurt is real. There is the head spin of inner dialogue that tries to make sense of the rejection. “There has to be a reason,” we think. “Am I not good enough?” “Are they envious of me and want to push me away?” We try to think of an angle as a way to sooth our hurt.
Fr. Solanus experienced being “left out”, being rejected. One of the many times in his life he experienced rejection or being pushed out was one Sunday evening when he was playing his violin for his friar brothers. He thought he was offering them a way to unwind from the week and listen to a few musical selections as he had done the Sunday before. This time, however, as the friars gathered and Solanus brought out his violin and began to play, one of the brothers went over to a radio in the room and began turning it up so loud as to drown out the violin.
Fr. Solanus must have felt the pinch of rejection and hurt as the friars all went along with actions of the brother turning up the radio. He must have felt the group was pushing him out of their space. No one spoke up and said, “hey, turn the radio down, Solanus is playing for us.”
What Solanus did next offers us a model for dealing with our hurts and rejections. Instead of stewing with anger or revengeful thoughts, Solanus drifted off to the chapel and continued playing his violin in the presence of the Eucharist in the tabernacle. In his rejection he turned to the One who would never reject him. He turned to the One who looked upon him in love and would always affirm his goodness and the preciousness of his life. Fr. Solanus turned to Jesus.
This is a huge gift to us. When we are faced with rejection from others, we need to move our focus from the group or person rejecting us to the powerful love of God. God knows us inside and out. Nothing is out of God’s knowledge and love. By turning our focus to God, we are able to find an inner equilibrium and groundedness in God’s love. God’s love is more powerful than any rejection.
Fr Solanus showed us that our focus needs to be beyond the superficial actions of others. He showed us that in all things we need only turn to the deeper and most significant relationship in our life, which is God. God shows us a true reality in which we are precious and loved and we are never excluded or rejected.
Solanus Casey Center