Tuesday, January 20, 2009

being known

Light by Matthew Whitney

One of my deepest fears is that I will be misunderstood, whether by close friends or perfect strangers. I fear that as I seek to be known in some way by others, they will misinterpret my words, actions, or appearance and judge me to be something I am not. The primary way I deal with this fear is by over-communicating (see: my blog). I talk. A lot. Using a lot of different mediums. A good deal of this is probably motivated by a desire to be known, truly known for who I really am.

This morning God used a verse, a book, and a song to give me a much-needed reminder about this.

The verse: The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God. (1 Corinthians 8:2-3)

The book: In his book, In the Name of Jesus, Henri Nouwen refers to God's love as the First Love and to all other human love as the Second Love. The difference between the two kinds of love is that one is eternal, unchanging, and unconditional, while the other is fleeting, variable, and with conditions. When our hope is firmly set on the First Love, we are free to give and receive the Second Love in healthy, fruitful ways. When we look to the Second Love for fulfillment, it fails to sustain us and becomes polluted and spoiled.

The song: "Taken" is a song from the album Hope For A Tree Cut Down, which was put together by Church of the Beloved in Edmonds, WA and is available for free here. Not coincidentally, this song is based on another book by Henri Nouwen called Life of the Beloved.

Long before anyone saw us, we were seen by you
Long before anyone heard us, we were listened to
Long before anyone spoke to us, we were spoken to
By the voice of eternal Love, an everlasting Love.

Maybe the connection between these things is not obvious to anyone else, but the Holy Spirit brought them all to mind this morning in order to say something powerful to me: I am known by God, fully and perfectly. I am seen, I am heard, and He is speaking to me. He is my First Love. No matter who misunderstands me or misinterprets my words and actions, the One who loves me knows me, and the One who knows me loves me. What have I to fear?


The Hyde Family said...

I have to remind myself of this daily. That no matter what I am going through or feeling, He knows me with perfect clarity.

Nate is so cute! He reminds me a lot of Chase at that age.

Your nephew will be in our prayers, of course.

Haley Ballast said...

Thank you Karen!

Sabrina said...

So true...thank you for those thoughtful words. I needed them.