August 15, 2008
To Know and Be Known
by Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com Senior Entertainment Editor
O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Psalms 139, NIV
It took a recent memorial service to remind me of the importance of longtime friendships.
I was gathered together with friends who I had not seen for almost 20 years. We had come together to celebrate the life of a departed friend-a husband, a father, a son, and a brother. He had fought the good fight, but had lost his battle to cancer the week prior.
Brian's father had been the pastor of the church where I grew up and where I had spent the first 20 or so years of my life. After the pastor left, the church had gone through some years of transition and then split. Many members had left and scattered to what seemed like the four corners of the earth.
But in the celebration of a life well lived, many of us were able to come together once again in one place. And so as I scanned the crowd in the packed church, I recognized many faces. Some of the names came to me and others were filed too far away in the recesses of my mind that I just couldn't retrieve them. Thankfully, everyone was gracious and helped me out when I couldn't recall.
What really got me choked up, though, was the realization that these are the people who have known me the longest in my life. And with them, I feel a deep connection, a fellowship and a kindred spirit that I have not felt in quite some time. They are people who saw me grow up. They taught me. They endured my immaturity. And yet they still loved me.
I saw my childhood friends, my junior high and high school buddies and even my very first boyfriend who is a pastor now and has a wife and three children. There were also former Sunday School teachers, couples who had been my parents' friends, youth group leaders, camp counselors, friends of my parents, young men and women who I had once babysat, my friends' sons and daughters (many of whom I had never before seen), and on and on. It was truly overwhelming.
After an experience such as that, all I can say is this: whoever says they don't need to be known or to know others is not being honest. With themselves. Or with anyone around them.
Our whole reason for being here on earth is for relationship. First, with our Creator (we were created to glorify him!). And then with those around us (fellowship with family and friends as members of the Body). But it's a scary thing to do. It's not easy to submit our lives to God and draw close to him, so that he might use us as instruments of righteousness. And it's not easy sharing and giving of ourselves with those around us either. Will they still accept us or will they reject us when they find out who we really are?
Deep down inside each one of us, though, the longing to be known is still there. We must continue to put aside our sinful natures and seek relationship with God, as he seeks relationship with us. And to live out this example as we strive to know and be known by others here on earth.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Is there a friend or family member (or perhaps a new neighbor) that you have been meaning to call? Make it a priority today to connect and set up a time when you can share some coffee and conversation and renew or deepen your relationship with each other.