Broken, the state of being incomplete and unable to fulfill one’s purpose. Honest, the presentation of an idea, thought, or story in it’s true form, to be devoid of falsehood and inaccuracy. What does it mean to be known?
In the Genesis account it states that Adam knew his wife Eve, and she conceived. Now I think it goes without saying that I don't believe that to know one another we must conceive children together. I use this example to shine a light on the intimacy of knowing. Knowing isn't just knowing about a person but rather knowing them at a deeper level.
If you were to ask some of my followers on twitter if they “know” me they might point to the parts of my story that they have read or to some of the thoughts written in my bio, but it’s obvious that they don’t really know me. If you were to approach one of the people that go to my church and hear me lead worship with the same question they might say, “Oh, the guy that plays in the band? The guitarist?” They may rattle off some of my talents or some of my habits on stage but very few of them know me in the way that I think we all desire to be known. Now, if you were to ask my wife if she knew me, she would tell you that she has an intricate knowledge of who I am. She knows what makes me happy and scared. She knows my habits, my strengths, my weaknesses and my insecurities. The crazy part about being known by her is that she still loves me.
Now let me be clear about something. It is wrong to assume that she knows me to this level just because she is my wife. Just because you are married doesn’t mean that you are known in this way. She knows me at this level because I have invited her to and she has chosen to. I have about 3 or 4 people that I can say this about. I have intrusted them with my full self. Most times we remain hidden. We don’t want people to know what we are afraid of or what hurts our feelings and so we hide behind being a jokester or a macho man. Looking across the table at someone and telling them how you really think or feel is a vulnerable thing, but without doing so we can never truly be known.
At best people will know and love the person you’re pretending to be which leaves you behind your mask wondering, “If they really knew me, would they still love me?” This is a terrifying and paralyzing way to live, not to mention exhausting. Keeping up appearances is exhausting. Especially since you don’t even like the people you're trying to impress, you just need them to like you. Someone once said that we are stuck in a trap of spending money we don’t have to buy things we don't need to impress people we don’t like.
One of my favorite things about being known is that when I am around these people I am at rest. I don't have to impress or entertain, I just get to be. I remember this transition happening with my wife. You remember how early on silence was really uncomfortable? You're sitting there at the restaurant and you've run out of things to chat about so you start squirming and fidgeting hoping a new topic will dawn on you. One day I realized that Katie and I didn't have to fill every moment with riveting discussion and that’s when I knew that we were really starting to know one another.
Who knows you? I mean, who really knows you? Have you bought into the lie that you aren’t worth knowing? Are you stuck behind a bunch of masks just waiting to be invited out from behind them? Are you waiting on someone else to take the risk? What if they’re waiting on you too? Are you missing out on being loved because you’ve yet to take the risk of being known first?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.