“To belong, you have to be missed. There’s something really, really important about that. People need to long for you, to want you to be there. When you’re not there, they should go looking for you.“
Put on Notice
The above quote is something I read recently and can’t remember where I pulled it from. If you know, please tell me. Clearly, it struck such a chord with me that all I cared about was getting it down, but author, whoever you are, please know I’m so appreciative to you because it’s so very true.
I just wanna put you on notice that I noticed that you noticed that I didn’t notice you were missing – so I’m sorry. Do you ever wish someone would say that to you? Maybe there’s a space you love that you’ve been present in but you’ve been physically gone for awhile due to vacation, illness, life circumstances or what have you and no one has seemed to notice. No one has asked where you’ve been or how you’re doing. When you returned, not one person proclaimed “long time no see!” or “Man, I’ve missed you!” and it stings just a little. Sure, people get busy and there’s lots of other people to notice as well, but you’ve been told you matter and you belong. What’s the evidence of that?
Not All There
Or maybe you’ve been physically present but your heart’s not been it or your mind’s been wandering a lot lately. Maybe you don’t seem as passionate about where you are as you used to be – be it work, church, friend group or family. Has anyone noticed “you’re gone”? Have you noticed anyone else is missing?
One thing I love about my church as large as it is, is we (staff and members) tend to notice when someone’s missing. I run a pool of a couple of hundred volunteers and one of the things I tell them in training is that if they ever don’t show up for their post, I’ll reach out to them on Monday because they won’t go missing on my watch. And I mean it. I follow up every time. Additionally, our staff is often asking each other “hey, have you seen so and so lately? No? Okay, I’m gonna give them a call or send them a card, or drop by for a visit.” This reality truly blesses me.
However, there are definitely areas in my life where I’m told I matter and they’re glad I’m a part but I feel like if I disappeared tomorrow it may take them a while to notice. In fact, I feel like who I am, or used to be around here anyway, has been missing for awhile and no one has asked where I’ve been. It’s to the point where I wonder if they actually wish I’d truly go. Did my place and contributions around here ever matter? Have I been insignificant? I didn’t realize this was a reality in my life until I read that quote I posted up top. It’s not a fun realization. Then, I naturally wonder – who have I made feel that way? Who do I truly believe with my heart that they belong with me or a group I’m in and I haven’t shown it with my actions? Who out there is feeling dejected by me?
On the Hunt
It’s time to go looking for who’s missing. Everyone matters and belongs somewhere. Everyone should and surely does have someone longing for them, even if at times the only one seems to be Jesus. We all bear responsibility in this. Think about your family, your friend group, your colleagues, or your church. Who has been missing lately? How can you bring them back into the fold? If they truly don’t belong with you anymore, how can you help them find their new place? Everyone has a place. Everyone should be missed by someone. There’s room for us…and it’s because we belong.