Daily Word of Grace #61 (June 9, 2020)
In John Steinbeck’s brilliant 1952 novel East of Eden, he poignantly describes the ongoing effects of the deep wound of childhood rejection: “The greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved, and rejection is the hell he fears. I think everyone in the world to a large or small extent has felt rejection. And with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with the crime guilt—and there is the story of mankind” (Penguin Classics edition 270). Every one of us has experienced rejection in our life—perhaps right now someone who rejected you comes to your mind—and unfortunately, if we’re honest, each one of us has also rejected someone else. This rejection is deeply wounding, and as Steinbeck observed, is often directly connected with acting out in anger. The good news of the gospel is that although you have been rejected by others, and have rejected others yourself, God has never rejected you. In fact, scripture tells us Jesus was rejected in our place, that in his incarnation and earthly ministry and ultimately his passion and death, “He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him” (John 1:11), that Jesus the Messiah was indeed “despised and rejected by others” (Isaiah 53:3). In his death and resurrection has atoned for all the rejection in the world, and in your life, and even now, especially in the areas of anger in your heart due to rejection, offers you healing acceptance and grace, offers you perfect love that casts out fear (1 John 4:18), even the fear of rejection.
Love and Prayers,