-written by Betsie Richards
I’m sitting in an ICU waiting room, wishing I wasn’t here. To distract myself, I people watch. I’ve caught myself wondering the stories of all these people and their families. How did they end up here? What’s wrong with their loved one? Do they feel like we do? I could go up and introduce myself and get to know them but… yikes. Strangers.
One thing I’ve noticed about my Mom during this hospital stay is, when she is feeling well enough, she makes a point to find out everyone’s name. Her nurse, the tech, the person taking her for a CT; then she typically thanks them by name. I’ve been scolding myself for not doing the same. For being willing to leave those I meet as anonymous or outsiders to my world.
Sometimes I wonder if the shepherds felt like outsiders? We don’t know much about them specifically- not even their names. We know they weren’t the social elite of the time, they were probably smelly and dirty, they basically lived outside in the elements and with dirty animals all the time. Sometimes I can relate to the shepherds, can’t you? Someone who may not quite fit in, someone on the outskirts of the popular crowd, someone who may have been looked down on because of their physical appearance or society’s view of a less than “top notch” job. An outsider.
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. – Luke 2:9-10
So guess who the Lord chose to share the news of the Messiah’s birth with first? The outsiders.
You see, the Messiah came for us outsiders. That’s the point. He came for those of us who feel like we don’t quite belong; for those of us who just can’t figure out where we fit in. He came for those of us who feel like we aren’t good enough and can never seem to get ourselves together.
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. – John 1:14
He came to make His home among us, among the outsiders who are dirty and rejected, who need grace everyday, who feel like no one knows our name. So embrace your outsider-self and realize the King of the Universe, the Messiah, the Lord, came for you. Not just that He came for you, but that He’s not afraid to show up in the middle of your mess and learn your name.
Betsie has been attending SoHills for nearly 20 years. You may have seen her serving on stage with the band, but she also serves behind the scenes with the Women’s Committee. She has worked at Carrollton ENT for over 20 years. She loves spending time with her family and friends, watching her niece play softball, her nephew play basketball, and any moment possible at the beach.