On the Outside Looking In

I looked over my shoulder through the window and encountered pairs of eyes, some curious, some squinting for a better view, and some aching with the want of belonging. These eyes belonged to children on the outside looking in, longing to know more about the “inside children.”

young girl wearing a pink shirt

Visiting a child development center is a fulfilling and energizing experience. We are on the inside, being treated like royalty, interacting with the children, using lots of sign language and smiles to communicate and engage with the very work that the ministry does. What sheer bliss to be with God’s children!

Leaving the center, however, my heart is filled with a sad aching for the children crowding around us outside the church or walking along the streets teeming with poverty. Here we meet the outside children, hoping for acceptance and love.

What about those on the outside? Have you ever felt like this, like you were on the outside wanting to know more about the inside? I suspect so.

My lexicon has changed over the years as my understanding of God’s love for the poor has deepened within me. I long to do away with terms that divide and keep us from being fully engaged in kingdom work—words like “them” and “those people.”

Until we fully live in the world of “us,” may the hungry eyes of the children looking in the window fuel us on to see their hope fulfilled—to become “inside children.” May our walk toward unity cause us to bring the outside in for His glory and in His grace.

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. —Galatians 3:28, NIV

Prayer: Lord, fill our eyes with fresh vision to see the work before us and to work as one to bring those on the outside to a safe place inside, dwelling in your love together.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laurie Struck works as an Executive Assistant at the Global Ministry Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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