The Comfort In Being Known

Who knows you…really knows you? To your child you are the one who makes the hurt go away. To a friend you are the one who brings laughter to every gathering. To a spouse you are the companion to whom they cling. To co workers you are the dependable rock who brings it all together in the end. They each know you so well. But, only a part of you. Who truly knows you – the you who is not trying to impress a boss, or cheer a friend, or support a spouse, or fix a boo-boo?

When all the masks are stripped away, when the parts we play are put aside, what is left? Who is looking back at you in the mirror? That is the person God knows. The one without the fancy clothes, or new car. The one who never uses harsh words with friend or foe. We compartmentalize our lives, creating checklists of what we did right, what we did wrong. Every day we use hundreds of adjectives to describe who we are: happy, helpful, caring, giving, supporting, tired, wasteful, asking, angry, sorry, ugly. The words change but we carry them with us, deep within our heart, everywhere we go. We are labeled – labeled by our own halting words. These labels can propel us to soar into the life created for us. These labels can prevent us from fully experiencing who we are meant to be. It is hard to control what will happen once the words attach themselves to us. It is hard to hold fast to the words that propel. Even harder to shake loose from the words that bind.

If only we could see what God sees. God attaches only one word to us – “MINE.” He does not see perfection or imperfection because he does not look for that. He simply sees His child – His beautiful child. That is what it is to be truly known.

No matter what words I label myself today, no matter what words I allow others to label me, He knows me without labels. He knows me before labels. And He loves me. This foundational truth is why I am able to get out of bed on my darkest days. This truth is what makes me want to share my fullest joys. This truth is what I cling to when the words and labels become too burdensome to handle on my own. Thinking of Him admiring my reflection as His child is like a renewing shower that washes away all the words. Finally stripped of the weightiness of labels, I find the path I am meant to follow. For a moment I feel cleansed and whole and truly known.

The moment passes. The labels return. But, He knows me, and that’s enough.

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