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Cnr of Park Rd and MacMahon St, Hurstville Sundays at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm

Rejection and hope

Where does something go that’s been twice-rejected? I recently bought a canvas print from the Reject Shop, only to find that upon getting it home, it was the incorrect size to fit the place where I had planned for it to hang. And so I returned it, settled the refund, and then walked away, leaving it at the Returns counter: the reject from the reject shop.

The experience has not kept me awake at night, but I have lost some hours thinking about people for whom that is their life story. A reject, caught up in the cycle of rejection, and sitting on the Returns counter of life with nowhere to go.

The Book tells the story of two rejects. One a young lady named Tamar, who was rejected by her brother-in-law and then again by her father-in-law, both in humiliating ways. The second, a young man named Joseph, who was sold for money by his own brothers, and then on-sold to a man who later rejected him amidst a whirl of sordid accusations.

But the Book also tells the whole story, not just the unhappy half. Tamar ends up being listed as an ancestor in Jesus’ family tree, and the words of Joseph end up being included in the Book for the comfort of later travellers. “You intended to harm me,” he said to his brothers, “but God intended it for good.” Happily there’s always more happening at the Returns desk than meets the eye!

DM 12th August 2015

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