It was the first day of the writer’s conference, and after my second cup of coffee, I finally felt somewhat awake. I went to the second floor of the hotel where they were filming a video and recognized a writer’s face from a popular website. Everyone in the room was exchanging hugs.
I introduced myself, and she smiled, seeming to know me from our interaction online. So, I stretched out my arms.
Not the right move.
After an awkward embrace, I could tell. She was not a hugger. I wanted to crawl into a hole somewhere but instead, I smiled and turned to talk to someone else.
Days later, my mind went back to the interaction. I wanted this person’s approval, but was sure she thought I was a nitwit.
Ever been there? You prepare to meet people for the first time and crave connection. You want to be seen and understood. But somehow, communication lines are crossed, and you feel misunderstood. Unseen.
Instead of feeling connected, you’re more lonely than before.
The awkward exchange with the fellow writer was a minor embarrassment, but other conversations have sent me straight to a questioning match with God. Being misunderstood can do that, can’t it? When we’re certain God is calling us in a specific direction and take active steps to pursue his path, those judgments sting with a new freshness.
There’s no one who was more misunderstood in history than Jesus.
As I read in the gospel of Mark yesterday, I saw with new eyes how he stayed persistent in the face of constant questioning and misconception from everyone around him.
Even after proving who he was with the constant giving of himself through miracles, healing and provision, his followers still didn’t get it. They were blind to the fulfillment of every prophecy standing right in front of them.
“Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
Jesus remained faithful because he remained connected to the One who knew him.
And as his children, we must do the same.
Even though he could have performed one more healing or one more miracle, Jesus took regular time away to be with his Father. He prayed. He refreshed himself. As people pursued him, he pursued the One who sent him. It was his will he sought, not those who misunderstood him.
When I look at his example, I’m reminded there is always someone who sticks closer than a brother. His love is constant and steady in the face of fickle opinions and emotions.
Friend, no matter what others say or think, your Father understands you. The way he sees you is complete, not lacking in anything. Keep your eyes focused on the next step of the race he is preparing for you. Don’t look to the right or the left.
Join hands with others who will encourage you and be encouraged by you. And as you press forward, remain confident your Father will welcome you as his beloved daughter.