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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Are You Being Ignored?

I see teenagers in some pretty bizarre clothing, jewelry and makeup some days. I ride my bicycle to work past two high schools. Many of the students walk to school each day. They are wearing outlandish boots, dressed all in black or in wild colors, filled their faces with piercings and colored their nails. Some of the boys are wearing makeup and some of the girls are not. Both their actions and their looks scream:

"Don't ignore me!"

They are desperately asking for social interaction. They are insecure in their relationships. They are looking for attention.

I am no psychologist and can't tell you why they are doing so. Maybe they were always raised in daycare and had to do bizarre things to be noticed. Maybe their parents don't know how to interact with them. Maybe they are genuine misfits that no one pays attention to or even attempts to avoid.

I wonder if this is what happened to the young man in Arizona who shot and killed people recently. His crazy questions seem to be a cry to be noticed. Overlooking them made him angry. Violence got him exactly what he wanted. He isn't ignored any more.

Christians are not immune to a desire for attention. They, too, will tattoo, pierce and wear imaginative clothing. They may even use their Christianity to get attention.

Many people think that the world is thinking little of them. The truth is that the world is often not thinking of them at all. The world only wants to belittle those it notices. Criticism is a conscious act. The person undergoing criticism may not like it but he is not being ignored.

The truth is that no one is ignored. The truth is that the most important person in the universe constantly keeps  the one who is completely ignored by the world on His mind. He is constantly desiring the best for that person. He is working always for that best. He is always available. No one else is more important.

Many in the Christian community fail to recognize this. Of course, the world doesn't know He really loves them that much. It's the Christian's duty to tell them of His love.

But how can they tell of something that they haven't realized themselves? How can they say that they know He truly loves everyone constantly when they don't act like it themselves?

God never ignores any of us. He sometimes is silent because He trusts us to act by faith rather than His constant assurances. However, He never ignores us. He never forgets us. He never needs to be made aware of where we are or what we are doing. He never needs to be reminded that we are His children.

He even keeps an account of how many hairs are on our heads.

Now, that's not being ignored, is it?

Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV) 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

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