John Eldredge, in his book SACRED ROMANCE, shares the pain of not belonging:
Being left out is one of life’s most painful experiences. I remember the daily fourth-grade torture of waiting in line while the captains chose their teams for the kickball games. As each captain took turns choosing a player, descending from best to worst, our rank in fourth-grade society was reinforced. Though others fared worse than I—“Don’t make us take Smitty, we had him last time”—I was never the first to be chosen. No one ever said, “Wait—we get Eldredge this time!” I didn’t feel wanted; at best, I felt tolerated. And then there was junior high cafeteria. After buying lunch, you carried your tray out into the dining room, looking for a place to eat. There was an unspoken hierarchy that determined where you could sit. I walked over to table filled with the “cool” kids, but before I could sit down, one of them sneered, “Not here, Eldredge, we’re saving this for someone else.”
John Eldredge is an author, a counselor, and teacher. He is also president of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recover their own heart in his love, and learn to live in his Kingdom.
“These,” he says, “are some of the ways I learned the lesson that I was on the outside."
Throughout our lives, each one of us lives with a constant nagging that we never quite fit in, we never truly belong. We’ve all had enough experience to teach us that we will never be allowed into the “sacred circle,” the place of intimacy. …
On the other hand, there is the joy of having someone save a place for us. WE walk into a crowded room at church or at a dinner party and someone cares, he waves us over, pointing to a chair he’s held on to especially for us. For a moment we feel a sense of relief, a taste of being on the inside. Now consider Jesus’ worlds in John 14:2—“I am going … to prepare a place for you.” … When we walk into the wedding feast of the Lamb … We’ll be welcomed to the table by our Lord himself. … There will be a seat with our name on it, held open at Jesus’ command for us and no other.”