The world spins on.
The narrative, rather the delusion, presented is filled with images of material success, career excellence, and egotism.
Do what you love. Make a name for yourself. Earn a voice, a place at the table, a legacy, and then you'll matter.
Cloaked in truth, surely. Yet remains the misguided notions of a society which casts off more people than make it.
Unfortunately, there are many who have lived and worked and fought and served that have been cast aside.
Cast aside like late-model cell phones. Discarded without a second thought as to why they have become unnecessary. Viewed as obsolete, not functional, or uncool.
Many look at the calls of society and rage against the machine. Others see those raging and dismiss it as an unjust feeling of entitlement.
Does either view provide hope?
I have watched many sacrifice family, life, limb, and self in the service of society, or self, only to be let down, discarded, and unsupported.
Sleep deprived nights strike my soul when I sit by those I know who are being ignored and dismissed, unable to think of anything that I can do than to sit there, listen, talk, and commiserate with them. I want nothing more than to help them know they are not alone.
I have personally felt the betrayal of many who claim that their views, their way of life, their supported
ideology, religion, or system, will benefit the world only to experience hypocrisy. Hypocrisy that their ideals are solely rooted in self-interest. A blind eye will be turned to actions which may be detrimental or even contradictory with their so-called beliefs that self-preservation precludes justice and trust. Their system, their view, cannot hold any doubt and they cannot be wrong.
I have been left to journey on my own. (At times)
So I have been forgotten. Cast aside not in rejection but indifference.
I know many others have experienced this as well.
Those who have served their nation, only to be discharged and unable to integrate into society due to medical or vocational circumstances.
Those cut off from fellowship because they are do not belong as they have questions about the statements and beliefs presented as indisputable facts. You can disagree, but you won't belong.
Those who struggle with themselves and know it. Yet cannot open up because of a world that will turn on weakness and shame it, exploit it, and humiliate it.
Those who have experienced no help except those that come attached with an agenda. So they withdraw into their own lives, certain that they can trust no one.
These are the forgotten.
I am among them.
I struggle to connect with others yet I long for the hope I see of a life filled with value and meaning simple because of life together.
A life lived in love which knows we are all we are, and yet that only outside of ourselves can we be saved. We cannot earn it. And any notion of value consisting in our being a "productive member of society" is a joke, a cruel delusion which only serves to separate the haves from the have-nots.
When will we learn there is only us?
When will we live like we are not better than others, but also that others are not better than us?
When will we remove stumbling blocks the stumbling blocks of achievement?
When will we walk away from our accusations on others when we hear the wisdom of "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."
When will we stop forgetting about people?
I belong with the forgotten, not the achieved. I desire a life of abundant life which only begins when I die to myself, my will's ambitions and expectations, and learn to live content with the daily provisions of my God and rejoicing in the presence of each other.
I belong to those who long to be known, to be listened to, cried with, and suffered alongside.
I belong to those who realize there is nothing to which they can strive harder to earn value or worth.
I belong to those who have nowhere else to go, nothing to hide, and nothing else to lose.
I belong to the forgotten.
I belong to grace.
I belong to Jesus.
Jesus who was not the creator of a new system of righteousness, but of grace.
Jesus who rooted all justice in love.
Jesus who reached the lost, the broken, the sick, and all who would listen to a way to abundant life that could not be earned but accepted.
Jesus is for you. He loves you.
Jesus is for every one of us. He loves each of us. He even loves those of us who aren't yet sure if we believe in Him, or those who don't know Him, or perhaps even have rejected a version of Him presented by those who would shackle us with systems of shame and legalism.
We don't earn it. We can't build upon it or improve it. We accept it by faith. Then we live together with him and each other.
No one is forgotten.
The economy of grace isn't growth and greed, but enough.
We are enough. We simply have to start living for enough, not more.
In needing more, we forget and exclude to gain. In being enough, we belong.
I am sorry for any that I have forgotten.
To the forgotten, I belong with you.
May the forgotten gather together, be enough, and belong.
I'll stand with you. I'll listen to you.
In fact, I'm looking for you. I want to journey with you. I want to live, listen, laugh, cry, question, learn, grow, mourn, discuss, disagree, hope, suffer, rejoice, and wander with you.
No one is forgotten.
(Seriously - if anyone is interested in belonging to a community committed to this, contact me!)