I was sitting in one of a row of tiny rooms with just enough room for two people to have an awkward conversation over 20 minutes, a time span that would hardly give someone a chance to get past pleasantries and let your nerves calm down. Two men in expensive suits sat casually waiting for me. It felt a little like a well-dressed firing squad. After a few relatively meaningless words of greeting, one of them turned to me and said, “Is there anything we should know about you that isn’t on your resume?”
I certainly had better interviews that that one in my law school career, and I’m so blessed to have be recruited by some of my favorite people, who I now call my law partners. But that day I left the closet-like interview room with the unmistakable ire and discomfort of a person who felt thoroughly unknown. I thought to myself, “that is the singularly dumbest question I’ve ever heard.” I desperately wanted to let my sarcastic tongue rule the day and respond, “No, absolutely not. My whole existence, ever fiber of my being is wrapped up in that 8 ½ by 11 sheet of paper.” But, I didn’t. I knew they were not really interested in hiring me, because if they were, they would have made a real effort – despite the limitations of the circumstances – to get to know me.
I know now that what I was really riffed about was an encounter with people who were supposed to want to know me, who didn’t. They couldn’t care less. It stung. Most of us walk around with stinging wounds and insecurities from encounters with folks every day who see us, as my Pastor would say, as “machinery or scenery”. Every encounter with others has the potential to feel like you’re either being used or overlooked, but then there are those rare but precious relationships and times in those relationships when the only agenda is to get to know one another and be known by the other.
The statistics on loneliness in the United States are at historical highs, and the hole that loneliness leaves is the place of being known. Someone who “gets” you, who understands what you’re going through, and who cares to hear about it. Someone who “checks in” with you or “checks up” on you.
As it turns out, we are actually fully known, and need only acknowledge the relationship that is ours for the taking. Psalm 139:1-6 says: “You have searched me, Lord, 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. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.”
Every time you decide to take a water and walk break. Every time you sit down to a first date. Every time you rise out of bed to face another day. He knows. Not in a creepy, horror movie, ‘he knows and he’s coming for you’ way, but in a ‘He cares and He watches and waits for an invitation to relationship’ way. He could finish your sentences (because He knew what you wanted to say before you did). He’s got your back. He’s gone before you. He knows when you need a hand: a hand of compassion, a hand of comforting, a hand of direction. . . and a hand to the backside to keep you from going to those places you’d be best off avoiding. He’s your “abba” father – almost literally “da-da” – the name you’d call out if you could, if you would – like when you were small – call out with hands raised. “Pick me up”. “Hold me tight”. He’s better than the one you run to hoping to feel better.
No one knows you like He does. He made you. The Psalmist understood that because God created your innermost being…knit you together in your mother’s womb (Ps 139:13), because He’s the Maker, no one understands how you work and how you work best than He does. Who knows better than the designer and manufacturer how the gadget works and works best and all the little quirks and kinks that didn’t make it into the directions, or the Facebook page, or even to the point of being spoken out loud.
Maybe you think that the dark places you’re in, the shame you have, the things you’re hiding or just not talking about, aren’t “appropriate” for God or wouldn’t be accepted, but we cannot hide. The Psalmist tried it: “If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ then even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Ps 139:11-12.
We. Are. Known.
And, we can know the Lord. We can know Him because He who made the world, for whom and by whom everything was made, He who holds the infinite universe together, He who understands every intimate detail about you and loves you infinitely and eternally, He can be known. How? Because He chose to reveal Himself in the person and life of Jesus Christ. Yeshua. Messhiach. Savior. Lord. Rescuer. Redeemer. Friend. John 1 says that Jesus was the Word and the Word was God and was with God from the very beginning. So, if you dare to open up a Bible, you are opening up the resume of Christ. His character, His plan, and His promises. Emanuel (“God with us”). Jesus told us (we see in John 15:15) that He lets us into His plans. That’s how we know we’re His friends. He lets us in. He lets us know Him.
We’re known. And we can know Him. That’s outstanding news. We have in the Lord a trusted confidant and advocate like none other. Find a small comfie spot and sit down with Him. Open up the Word and discover our gift-giving God. No appointment or resume required.