I Know I Belong
“Are you J.O.’s boy?” I was often asked that question. In that little town it meant something special and significant. I remember I was only four or five years old at the time and my grandmother took me to a men’s clothing store. This store was known for its quality shirts and suits. Those men who worked there were excellent tailors and their reputation for excellence was known far and wide.
Those men knew not only my grandmother for many years, but also had known my great-grandfather for years as well. In fact, granddad had done all his shopping at this store. So, when I walked through the door, there was this question with a lot of smiles. I remember how those men treated me with kindness and great respect. I hadn’t earned it, but my granddad and my family had. They talked all the while about different stories they knew of my family and included me in as if I had known them for 40 years. What a privilege and what a lesson learned! Even if I was only purchasing a white dress shirt, they made me feel like I was the king of the place.
I have reminisced about that experience often over the years and have come to the conclusion that if folk in a clothing store can know your name, treat you like a king and make you feel you belong, then how much more should we practice those same principles in the church with everyone who walks through our doors and make them feel they belong too!
You and I belong to something far more important than a community. We belong to the family of God. David wrote a long time ago, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” Psalm 139:13-16 (NASB).
We are brothers and sisters in Christ. We have been created and bought for God. Therefore, remember this: I know I belong and so do you!
By Richard C. Dye, Sr. President