Our little tinies feeding at our breast, is there anything more illustrative of the concept of belonging?
Experiencing a sense of belonging is a basic, core, and fundamental human need. We do not grow and thrive without being claimed by another. If you are reading this, then someone chose you from your inception and beginning even without your consent.
As a created being, I must have been in the imagination of someone. I believe I was created by a loving creator desiring to connect and bond with me along with all creation. The writings of antiquity, especially the Greek and Hebrew text of the Bible remind us that God is love (1Jn.4:8) and His love will not diminish towards us (Psalm 59:10). If God is love we can conclude that what He has created is good.
I am currently authoring my first book, Belonging Is A Choice_Our Response to God's Invitation, and facilitating another online series by zoom on Wednesdays this September titled, Belonging Is A Choice. This week we looked at belonging to God. I asked everyone to bring a picture, icon, or memory that depicts belonging to God. My choice was similar to the picture in this blog piece, a mother and child in the beautiful act of breastfeeding. The interdependence of the mother and child is captivating.
As I shared my reason for choosing a breastfeeding piece of art I found myself tearing up and my voice cracking. I found it strange at the intensity of my emotions and was curious about the meaning behind my tears. Yes, I did breastfeed my four children until nearly their 2nd birthday except my youngest until he was 15 months old. But, why was I high jacked with emotion as I am a grandmother now? I was experiencing deep feelings of connection, joy, peace, and love. There was no greater time in my life that I felt such a centered groundedness and connection with another than when I was nursing my young.
Our loving Creator has handpicked every human being and yearns for each of us to respond to his invitation to belong and experience relational connection in His kingdom, a spiritual kingdom of those who trust God.
God gives us a hint of his longing for our response to be with him by the creation of our natural world. We ontologically fit in his world that he gave to you and me to steward. He then communicates his longing to be with his own through the words of his son Jesus, the Christ, son of the living God. Christ Jesus is the second person of the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
You and I have been invited to belong to God, belong to oneself, and belong to one another. Though many today in our current pandemic social restrictions are feeling a sense of disconnection and alienation, we can hope to know that belonging is not a human construct, but God's ideal for all humanity. We have been invited to belong to the One that will not die and leave us due to Covid-19, not now, not ever, though others will leave and die like all humans before and after us will.
Just as the little children in the photo are resting in the warm and gentle embrace of their mother, we can know someone chooses and claims us as their own, forever. I can't help but notice the mother's gaze upon her nursing young, undeterred from distraction. Even the older child has joined the heavenly embrace. We too can belong to a family, the family of God when we respond to Jesus' invitation recorded by Matthew's gospel account:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28-30 | The Message
To learn more about Angela Marie Gage and her latest events and services visit www.bestillandlisten.org