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I’m thinking today about knowing others and being known.

I may know your face.  You look familiar.

I may know your name.

I may know about your family, your job, and where you live.

I may know what type of music or movies you like, or what books you read.

I may know what you’re good at doing.

I may know whether you like being with people or alone.

I may know what makes you angry, what makes you truly happy, and what matters most to you.

I may know the weaknesses you struggle with, the parts of yourself of which you’re not so fond.

I may know the passion of your heart, the fire that burns and drives you on.

I may know the hurts you’ve struggled through, some past pain you’ve endured.

I may know your perspective and opinion about Jesus, who you believe He is, the value a relationship with Him has in your life.

There are so many levels of knowing someone and being known.  I’m not sure the entire significance of it but for some reason we want to be known, really, truly, deeply known by someone.

Maybe it’s because it gives us validation, proves that we exist and that, to some extent, we matter.

Maybe it’s because it meets a need we have for relating, or boosts self-esteem, or strokes pride.

Whenever we move, I find myself face to face with this issue again, because we have left friends behind who know us well and now live where we are new and are not really well-known by anyone.  Even if the new people are kind, loving and fun – which they are – it takes time to really know someone.

I have always been comforted, too, by the fact that when we have moved in the past, we moved as a family.  So, even though the house, the town, the work and school, the church were all new, we had each other as a home base.  We felt secure in that.  We still had people at home who loved and knew us.  Our family group was a little smaller this time, but we still have each other.

I take immense, peace-giving comfort in the truth that I am known, more completely and more intimately than by anyone else, by God.

And He is everywhere.  He is always awake and available.

I don’t think of Him as a handy God I can take along with me, to draw Him out when I feel lonely or need to talk.  That would be as silly as me thinking by carrying a water bottle in my purse I was carrying around the ocean.  God is so much bigger, so much grander, so much more awesome and mighty.  It’s more like I live spiritually surrounded by His presence like the air I move through and breathe no matter where I go.  Communion with Him is an ongoing phenomenon, deep and wonderful.

The amazing thing is that He cares to know me at all, that He loves me, that He lets me know Him…in my brain and heart’s very limited capacity.

I believe He wants to be known, too.

He wants to be validated by us, so to speak.  He wants us to show Him He matters by our seeking Him and trying to learn more about Him.

He invites us to know more than just what He’s called, more than what He does around us, more than what He’s made.

I believe He wants to reveal to us the very passion of His heart, the core of who He is that propels Him to do all that He does.

The knowing is a two-way street.

There’s no greater validation, no more powerful affirmation of purpose than to know God and to be known.

O Lord, you have examined my heart
      and know everything about me.  Psalm 139:1

Oh, that we might know the Lord!
      Let us press on to know him.
   He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn
      or the coming of rains in early spring.  Hosea 6:3