“Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures: The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” Matthew 21:42
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:18- 19
In Christ Alone By Stuart Townsend beautifully portrays that capstone or cornerstone “In Christ alone, my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song. This cornerstone, this solid ground, Firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace, When fears are stilled, when strivings cease! My comforter, my all in all. Here in the love of Christ, I stand.”
In order to understand the path of the rejects, I need first to give some backstory to how this came about.
It is hard to find a time and place to share the deepest parts of your soul to the world, but at times that is the only way to heal those shattered wounds.
I am a fatherless child. My mother, who I love dearly, had me out of wedlock, and this was in the mid-80s so that was still frowned upon.
Growing up I had no one to talk to who was like me, and that is all I wanted. I wanted to tell my story and have someone actually understand it.
My father didn’t just abandon me, but he flat out rejected the idea that I was even his. My mother would have to listen to me cry many nights about the deeply rooted rejection.
My father would refuse to come to court, and this would lead to more and more rejection. Finally, when I was 17 years old I was able to talk with my father.
My father took an interest in me for a little while, but whenever we made plans he would back out. I had to learn to love him and forgive him no matter how many times he hurt me. It was a very long process to get to that point.
The total rejection came when I was 29 years old. I had gained a lot of weight, and my father stopped taking interest in me. He changed his phone number, never answered my letters, and cut off communication completely. He was back to being in denial I was his daughter, and the rejection became a wound I can’t heal.
When your earthly father doesn’t want to claim you and has no desire to keep in touch with you the pain is severe. The wound that was there when you were born gets infected, and it becomes something you have to face every single day.
How could a Heavenly Father accept me? How could a Heavenly father love me as I am?
You may not believe this, but there are only two paths to travel. One path is nicely manicured and has a stone fence that follows it. The lawns and homes on this path are well-kept, and the wide gravel road allows for a nice stroll under the warm sun.
To many, this is the sought after path. This is the end goal of all paths. It is screaming success, stability, cleanliness, and above all it visually pleasing.
However, the other path has not been touched in some time. It has been left uncared for so long, that it has overgrown. The grass pokes out of the once gravel road. This path has been long since forgotten by many.
It is on the second path that I found myself traveling. I used to think that was a bad thing. Why can’t I be on the nice socially acceptable path? Why can’t I be like everyone else? Why when I look through everyone’s window I see a happy family? Why am I so alone?
I followed a voice that told me to “keep following that path” Once I understood that; the path I was on was filled with an unseen beauty. There was a wooded area on both sides of this forgotten path.
What had been lost here was actually something that needed to be rediscovered. It was a sense of warmth I never felt before, and a strong urge of faith that kept me going down this path.
I kept a watchful eye on the thoughts of what awaited me at the end.
Now as I began to accept this path it became clearer and clearer what was at the end.
It emptied out to reveal an ocean and a beach of white sand.
A man dressed in all white with brown sandals on his feet turned to me with a smile of the brightest light.
Jesus waited for me at the end of that long and at many times broken path. He allowed me to sit beside Him as I took His hand. It was at this moment I noticed the hole that remained from the nail. I wanted to know why Jesus kept those holes after all these years.
The hole represents the rejection He faced from His chosen people. The hole remains as the love Jesus poured out to heal their wounds that would take an eternity to heal.
Jesus told me that even if those holes were just for me, that He would’ve done it for my wounds alone.
I am that one lamb that is constantly lost in the valley. Why so much hope and love for that one lamb?
We all have a hole where the nail pierced our souls. The hole that the blood of the lamb paid for. The hole of the rejected Savior. The one who just wanted to bring His children home.
That hole reminds us that we are never going to be fulfilled without our Savior. We are not on the right path without our Lord.
The hole and the wound it represents is much deeper and stronger than that of the well-kept path.
The well-kept path has lost sight that it is broken because it doesn’t have the Lord. The unseen and forgotten path is the most vibrant because in all of its emptiness we find the light at the end. We find Jesus with the holes in his hands.
The rejects are often banned from the well-kept path, and this makes them feel unworthy. But hold faith, because the narrow path holds the truth. This is the path for the broken, the exhausted, the forgotten, and those who have no place in the world.
Jesus spoke His truths on the mountains, in the valleys, and walking on water. He knew one day those words would be lost in time on a once sought out path. He knew the time He spoke those words were pure, and it was at that moment that path was born.
Even though we each carry our own holes and the wounds of the Savior we still find ourselves in constant fear of rejection.
We have a loss of self…loss of hope…loss of way. We spend most of our lives looking for a home, away, a place to belong, and a feeling we can’t name. We just wander around with a hole in our soul. We from time to time have a gentle reminder that the hole is still there, but often we forget and the moment is gone.
Jesus came into the world knowing He would be rejected by it. The holes remain. The wounds we left behind.
Fear not for the Lord our God has overcome the world, and he waits for all his lost lambs on that path to the big open sea.