This boundary created space between the invited and the rejected.
On the other side of the fence was a swimming pool, filled with the inner circle of neighborhood children. Danny and Davey, with their golden hair and perfect tans... my heroes. From the bushes nearest the woods, I crept up slowly to the fence. I could hear, but I could not see. I could smell, but I could not taste. The delicious sound of belonging.
I remember sitting there, crying, for hours. They had promised to invite me to the party, but in the sudden rush to the diving board, and the euphoric crash below - somehow I had been forgotten. But that was Tuesday. And Wednesday. And Thursday. And the weekend, the same.
I was homeschooled.
So my best friend was a tree fort. And a dog named Binky. And a slingshot that would become the vehicle driving the premeditated murder of a thousand squirrels. And occasionally, the neighbors window - which would become the target of all of my rage. The anger was born from an inexplicable sadness that permeated my adolescence, and has burned through my heart until this day.
I feel like Esau, hated.
I feel like Cain, rejected.
I am the stain of a scarlet letter - and you are the drummer boy following me around in the manic insistence that the world must be notified of my notorious, scandalous, sin. The prayer chain disguised as the gatekeeper, alerting the flock of an enemy wolf among us.
All of this had led me to believe that God's posture toward me is hate. And my heart is broken, because I loved God, and His Church. I tried to make Him proud, but I failed. I am so sorry. I'll give you all what you want.
Go ahead and gather in your holy huddle, singing about grace and forgiveness. Carry on with your messages about the ministry of reconciliation. Onward with your bumper stickers about prevailing love.
I'll be the guy on the other side of the fence.