Being Known

I remember years back at a get-togethers with some close friends, the husband walked in our house and said, Huh. I didn’t know you listened to this kind of music. I thought you only listened to one kind of music. I immediately defended myself and explained that of course I liked different kinds of music and, of course, I only have one kind of music on during the day because my children are so little, on and on I bumbled. Fast forward a few years to another get-together with another couple of close friends and a different husband says, Huh. I thought you’d need a nap today. I thought you were just like me that way. Again, I responded with flustered responses and a hint of irritation. Hopefully he didn’t notice…

Why do those comments bother me and why do I still remember them? Who cares if someone thinks falsely in these small ways about me? They didn’t think anything negative; they were simply mistaken. They weren’t at fault in any way. They were kind and harmless as were their comments.

The past weekend we had an older couple over and the woman was so kind and intent to listen that I suddenly found myself in tears and sharing with her my entire testimony! I felt in my heart this longing to share and for her to know me. But the conversation was interrupted and cut short and I will probably not see her again for a long time.

These situations leave me feeling a little empty mixed with a splash of anger. But again, why? Why do I care so much?

Because we were made, my dear friend, to be known. And these situations show that I wasn’t known completely, like we all want. In the first two instances, I wasn’t known in small ways but in ways I felt were an integral part of me. In the second, I saw clearly my desire to be known and watched it be whisked away in the tide of busyness and children needing attention.

Yet, to be known completely is scary and simply cannot be completely done. We don’t even know ourselves all that is in our hearts. I have certain friends with whom I laugh and laugh and others who bring out my serious side. I have friends who get my cultural references (although maybe not in Germany…) and others with whom I can talk theology and philosophy. I have friends who bring out a creative part of me, friends whom I encourage, those who encourage me, and so on. Yet they are all separate people. Not one of these people completely knows my heart and who I am wholly. Each person points me to Jesus in a different way. As C.S. Lewis puts it so well in The Four Loves (and I know I’ve shared this on MF before but it’s just so good):

In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself, I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets.

He goes on to explain that if one friend dies, not only does that friend die but his entire perception dies with him and so does the part of us that comes out with that particular friend.

Why do I share all this? To give us hope. Even if we had the perfect amount of friends (which is…???) and the perfect amount of friends who bring out everything in us, it still would fail. We would fail. Our hearts and lives would fail and inevitably, one of those friends would move on, pass away, or fail you. It’s just the world we live in. I don’t mean to paint a bleak picture, but it’s just how it is until we get into heavenly glory.

Then, dear reader, then it’s going to be amazing. We are going to be in the presence of the One who knows us and all His saints will be there, bringing out His glory in our unique perspectives, knowing each other perfectly and looking to Him perfectly. We will be singing His praises to each other and my desires for being known will melt into the complete satisfaction of seeing Him completely with new eyes and being known and seen perfectly, without sin and without shame. Oh reader, how wonderful these days will be! How glorious!

Not only can we look to the hope of the future, we have hope in the here and now. Maybe we aren’t known in the ways we desire, but there is One who knows us and delights in knowing us. He delights in loving you and He even likes you. He likes what He created and who you are and all the fun and quirkiness that makes you. He loves you, knows even the darkest sin and the sin you will commit in the future, and still loves you with a passion.

So, instead of my holding on to these memories and being upset I was misunderstood, I shall rest. Let us all rest in these truths. Let’s rest in knowing He already knows each facet of our being. He likes us. And one day we will be known in every way and it will be perfect.