I want to be known. I want people to know me. To understand me. To understand what motivates me, what drives me, what makes up my mental, emotional, and spiritual molecules. I want to be known. I want to be known by my husband. I want to be known by my children. I want to be known by my friends and fellow churchgoers. I want to be known in the places that I exist. And some days I am. And many, many days I’m not. Even by those closest to me. And because this deep desire for being known does in fact go to the very core of all my parts I can become so focused on wanting to be known that I did not think to spend very much time knowing. There are many days when I do not know my husband because I have not pursued knowing him. I do not know my children because I did not make that my pursuit. How much more so is that the case with my co-workers and fellow Church goers? With God Himself…
The sad irony is our culture is very lonely. We have pursued means of entertainment and communication that have effectively isolated and cut us off so that we are only with ourselves. And, in our lonliness, we have made a god of being known. We’ve made a god of safe spaces… a god of truth that is only true for ourselves. Then we often find ourselves in tremendous pain at the foot of those alters that we have created for ourselves.
The interesting thing is that there is one who knows us so completely that our own knowledge of ourselves pales in comparison. He knows our every thought, our every word, our every feeling…even down to every hair on our body. He sees us…every moment, past, present , and future. He DOES know our motivations and to be very frank that should terrify us. He knows us, and all our parts. And what is absolutely insane is that he loves us in that exact state. He is our dream. Someone that would know all the parts, including all the ugly, all the broken, all of the all… and would love us anyway…. Our spouses can’t do that. Even on the days they actually want to they’re not able to do that. Our children can’t do that. Our children are so new in this life and learning all of the things life calls them to learn can be such a struggle. They most certainly cannot bear the burden of knowing someone to the center of their soul and sustaining that person with love. And our precious co-workers and fellow church members … most of them are holding on for dear life through whatever difficult ride they are on in the moment. They cannot be responsible for our wholeness.
But all of that is okay. Because God can. He really, really, can. And even more than that, he doesn’t need your permission to do so. He’s already doing it. But our unwillingness to see it and engage with it is denying us an immense amount of peace and joy… of the delight and awe of being truly known and LOVED by someone.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to desire this. It is deeply human to desire this. It is part of our spiritual DNA. It is what God is all about. He wants to be known by His people. He’s made Himself knowable in so many ways to us…His word….His Spirit. He is a God of relationship and understanding. He is the God of knowing. But, if the desire to be known by the people in our world is so great that it steals our joy then it has become an idol. It has not stayed in the place of a good and healthy desire that motivates us to be in relationship with God and with people. It has broken away and is now consuming everything…demanding a place in the center of our universe. That’s not okay. My precious husband reminds me all the time that when not having something steals all of our joy and all our hope it has become a god. There is only one God who can know us. There is only one God who can satisfy the deep caverns of our souls. It is not the god of being known. It is the God who knows.