04 October 2010

dining halls and acceptance

CU just opened a new dining hall called, the Center for Community or C4C for short. Just as all new things gain popularity for their novelty, it has become the popular place to eat; and for good reason. Unlike all the other dining halls, C4C has many different food options from Italian, to Persian, to Asian and that's just the start of what they offer. They also offer one other addition, people. Hoards of people all wanting to eat at the NEW dining hall with more options and debatably better food. Whether good or bad, it makes for a crowded and noisy mealtime during the peak hours.

So a couple weeks ago, instead of rushing over to the C4C for lunch, my friend and I ventured to Libby, the former 2nd best dining hall on campus. It was very much the opposite of the C4C. Instead of lines of loud, rambunctious people and the noises of the employees drowned out by the happy chatter of students, there was the low hum of the dining hall employees going about their duties and the very quiet clatter of dishes interspersed with very quiet talking. Libby, especially when compared to last year, was deserted; unwanted.

Have you ever felt unwanted? Like nobody could ever love you? Like nobody would ever want to spend time just being WITH YOU? I have. I've even felt that way more than once! Maybe its a situation where you've felt traded in for a new best friend or new boyfriend or girlfriend. Or maybe you are ashamed of something you did and because of that nobody would ever want you. Or maybe its a situation completely unlike either one of those.

But that is NEVER the case.
There is someone who wants to be WITH YOU; who wants you just as you are, not the newest and latest edition; who loves you no matter what you may have done. 

In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." He's there, waiting at your heart's door wanting to come in and make your life better to take your pain and heal your wounds of rejection and unworthiness, to fill the emptiness in your heart with joy, and to fill your heart so full with love that it spills over onto others.

One of the pieces that Dana, ADX's devotional chair, shared with us (ADX) goes right along with this:

"I know you through and through. I know everything about you. The very hairs of your head I have numbered. Nothing in your life is unimportant to Me. I have followed you through the years, and I have always loved you – even in your wanderings. I know every one of your problems. I know your needs and your worries. And yes, I know all your sins. But I tell you again that I love you – not for what you have or haven’t done – I love you for you, for the beauty and dignity My Father gave you by creating you in His own image.

know what is in your heart – I know your loneliness and all your hurts – the rejections, the judgments, the humiliations, I carried it all before you. And I carried it all for you, so you might share My strength and victory. I know especially your need for love – how you are thirsting to be loved and cherished. But how often have you thirsted in vain, by seeking that love selfishly, striving to fill the emptiness inside you with passing pleasures – with the even greater emptiness of sin. Do you thirst for love? "Come to Me all you who thirst…" (Jn. 7: 37). I will satisfy you and fill you. Do you thirst to be cherished? I cherish you more than you can imagine – to the point of dying on a cross for you."

God, I'm answering my heart's door. I choose to invite you in, to be cherished, to be loved, and to be healed. That is my desire: to be with you just as you desire to be with me. Thank you for loving me, every part of me including the ugly parts.