My daughter arrived at our place recently with some clothes for me. A friend of hers had passed on some near new clothes and from that collection she had selected three tunic tops that she thought would be right for me. Each one fit perfectly and each one was just right colour wise. In fact, as I wore these outfits over the following weeks I got more comments about how nice I looked in them than I had about anything I had bought myself recently! That was a little depressing! Getting free clothes was nice; receiving compliments was nice but what really made an impression on me was the fact that my daughter knew me well enough to recognise that those clothes would suit me well.
Being known, really known is a very special thing. It’s something we need if we are going to thrive in relationships and it is at the centre of finding good meaning and purpose in our lives.
Not that the goal is to be deeply known by everyone we have relationship with - most of us wouldn’t want that anyway. Being known is special but it’s also quite a vulnerable place to be. Being really known means someone seeing me at my worst as well as my best. That’s not something we can or should trust everyone with.
And of course, for those who have been badly treated by people they trusted there is an extra layer of vulnerability. It’s easy to understand why sometimes people decide that the only way to be safe is to make sure they are not known intimately by anyone.
Even so, there is a desire and need deep inside each one of us – to be known; really known in good and safe relationships.
In my most lonely and isolated seasons – when I have experienced depression; when my heart has felt like it is breaking for people I love – and as I have sat with others in their own lonely and isolated places – perhaps grieving over broken relationships; abuse, death or simply as we have sat staring into an unknown future – my own hope and the hope that I share is that we are, each one, intimately known by God.
There is a beautiful poem written long ago and recorded in the book of Psalms. In this poem, the author says of God “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvellous... You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
I hope you have good safe relationships in which you are well known; and I hope you will remember that even when people let you down, you are always known and loved by God and you are safe with him.
Lead Pastor - Lesmurdie Baptist Church