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The Pleasure of Being Known

Knowing

I know you

A week or so ago, Mary Graham and Sheila Walsh were tweeting.  It’s wonderful to see the Women of Faith ladies interact, as it’s clear they truly are family.  In one of her tweets, Mary was referencing an artist on the tour and said to Sheila, “One of life’s greatest pleasures is in being known.  And she Knows You.”  That phrase has stuck with me ever since, and I’ve been pondering why God planted that little nugget so tightly in my mind.  I didn’t understand it until this weekend.  God knew I’d need to chew on it a bit.

In a very unplanned twist to our day, we ended up at Davis Kidd bookstore on Saturday evening. As we wandered downstairs to visit the kids’ area, I noticed folks setting up for a live performance.  I paused as a man uncased a beautiful bass cello.  You could tell from the worn wood that it had been a well-loved instrument.  At that same time, someone began warming up, and I knew we’d be staying to see whoever was performing.  Music moves me.  All music, and not in a small way.  God knows that about me.  I think music is one of His very best gifts to us.

The event turned out to be a tribute to a woman named Ruth McGinnis.  She and her band had been regular performers at Davis Kidd (and many other places), and she had sadly passed away from ovarian cancer in October.  I hadn’t seen Ruth perform before, and it was only when her quiet, gentle-spirited younger sister, Erin McGinnis Long, shared that I began to catch a glimpse of who this amazing woman was.  It made her death more real, but also made the tribute that much richer.  Through Erin, I felt like I knew Ruth. 

Thinking back over these past two weeks, here’s what I keep coming back to:

  1. We all want to be known.  We want a mate, friends, and our family to “get” who we are and love us, warts and all.
  2. We want to know others.  To understand what makes others tick.  To know their joys and pains before a word is spoken.
  3. Being known and knowing others is such hard work.  To get past the superficial is hard.  It takes commitment.  And sometimes, it’s painful. Most of the time, though, it’s truly rewarding.

But I think more than anything, we have this insatiable hunger to know and be known by our maker.  There are days when I struggle with both.  But after those bad days, I wake up thanking God that He hasn’t given up.  That, as in Isaiah 46:19, our names are carved in the palm of His hands.

Who knows you best?  And what keeps others from knowing you more?

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6 Responses to “The Pleasure of Being Known”

  1. Susan Cushman December 15, 2009 at 8:43 am #

    My best friend and my priest/father confessor (I’m Orthodox) know me best, and yes, what a gift to be known by someone…. as you say, for someone to “get me.” I think I make it hard for others–even my husband and children–to know me because I’m afraid to show them my whole self. Maybe it’s fear that they won’t love me or that they will try to change me. (Actually, that has happened, when I’ve shown too much of “myself” to someone and she wanted to “fix” me.) This is a beautiful post, Jennifer. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • JenDeshler December 15, 2009 at 10:56 am #

      Hi Susan,

      Thanks for sharing. I know what you mean about the “fixers”. Thank goodness we know the One who has the right answers.

  2. River Jordan December 15, 2009 at 9:53 am #

    I once took a personality test that revealed these facts:

    1. More than anything else I wished to be understood
    2. I fell into the personality traits of 1% of the population
    3. Which made it very unlikely that I would ever be understood.

    Yes – to be known is a beautiful, divine thing. Some of the times I have felt most loved was when someone knew exactly how I felt in a given situation without me ever saying a word.

    It reminds me to pause, and to try to know people on a deeper level.
    thanks for the reminder.

  3. JenDeshler December 15, 2009 at 11:55 am #

    River,

    It really makes us cherish those people who work to know us that well. Thanks for stopping by. I have my own little “river of joy” and she lives up to her name each day.

  4. Jason December 15, 2009 at 12:42 pm #

    Great post, Jen. To answer your Q I’d say my wife knows me the best after God. :) As for the reason others don’t know me well…I’d have to say it’s because I’ve had so much pain in my life many people don’t want to hear about it or know how to handle it.

  5. JenDeshler December 15, 2009 at 10:01 pm #

    Hi Jason,

    It’s wonderful to hear you say that (many couples can’t). I understand what you mean about people not wanting to know the nitty-gritty or understanding how to walk with you in that pain. But it makes those who do all the more special. I know God allows us to walk through hard times to benefit our futures and the lives of others.

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