It must have been painful for the Lord to be rejected by His own “kababayans.” The people with whom He grew up, the people who played with Him, His neighbors. All of them rejected Him.
Actually, there is something even more painful than rejection. What is more painful than rejection is when you are first accepted, then forgotten later on.
Just very recently, this truth struck me. A couple I married, more than a year ago, came to see me. They were fighting. The wife was crying. I asked her the reasons for her tears.
Amidst sobs she related that her husband forgot their first wedding anniversary. “Had I known that he will forget our anniversary, I would not have married him,” she lamented.
Rejection is painful enough, but acceptance and forgetting are even more painful.
I’ll tell you a story that happened to me as a little boy. At that time, I enjoyed playing hide and seek. The problem was I suffered from asthma. So even if I wanted to play, I couldn’t play to my heart’s desire because the effort would leave me gasping for breath. So that whenever there were times when I felt relaxed and able to breathe very well, I sneaked in a game of hide and seek with one of my cousins. I would always cheat, so he always became the “it.” I guess he handed me this privilege because I was asthmatic anyway.
So one day, I hid under my parents’ bed. For an asthmatic boy, under the bed is the worst place to be. It was dusty and full of cobwebs. I knew I shouldn’t be there, but I didn’t want my cousin to find me. After a while, my father came along and saw me hiding under the bed. He told me, “Why are you there? Get out of there, you might end up in the hospital later with an asthma attack.”
I replied, “Don’t shout at me. I am hiding here. Lito might find out I’m here.” Then he asked, “Why will Lito look for you?” I said, “We’re playing hide and seek.” Finally, he said, “But Lito left already.” My father laughed, but I could not find amusement in the situation. Instead, I cried. That was the last time I played hide and seek.
As I was growing up, my father would always tease and ask me if I still like to play hide and seek. I would always say no.
Later on, my father helped me philosophize on this experience and said to me, “When you play hide and seek and no one looked for you, you cried. Do you realize that God also expects to be found by you even if God realizes that you have gone in search of the less important persons? Actually, God is no longer hiding. God is already right in front of you, yet, you still look to the other direction because you refuse to accept God. If you were embarrassed if you were hurt because Lito did not look for you when you had expected him to be looking for you, can you just imagine how painful it must have been for the Lord when we accepted Him and then forgot about Him?”
How painful, indeed, it must have been. We, too, go through a similar experience and feel disconsolate. How much more wrenching it is for the Lord who is always faith to us to experience that Himself?
We must ask the Lord, “Pardon us, Lord, for not making you number one. Forgive us, Lord, for accepting You and then forgetting all about You.”
REJECTION, ACCEPTANCE AND FORGETTING
Only Jesus, Always Jesus