On Sunday morning, our family announced a big step that has some big implications. After five and a half years at our church, we are going to be leaving full time church work to accept a job as the Program Director for Teen Lifeline, a non-profit organization dedicated to working with “at-risk” teenagers in a variety of settings. Needless to say, we are thrilled with the new role we will be playing with Teen Lifeline and we feel strongly God’s leading in this matter.
However, having resigned from another church a while back, I felt quite a bit of fear about notifying our church and leadership about this change. After all, our church has been faithful to our family and has shown nothing but support for us as we have succeeded and failed these last few years.
Yet, we found nothing but support as we told our leadership and church about this change. While people were admittedly sad about this change, we heard a strong theme in their response.
“This role is perfect for you.”
You see, in my stress about our church and their potential reaction to the resignation, I had forgotten about one crucial thing:
These people know me.
I had forgotten about several years of sermons, bulletin articles, conversations, and ministry that people heard and watched. All the while that I was working away and not paying attention, my church family was, in fact, paying attention and knew my passion.
And, as I had conversations with my church family about this new opportunity, I found a deep comfort in this reality:
I am known.
And, that is what good community is all about. Being known. This isn’t a selfish thing, really. It’s the “fits like a comfortable shoe” kind thing. Its a good deep breath while knowing that everything will be okay.
Really, it is rest.
I think that many of us really identify with the idea of being known. But, actually being known is a totally different thing. To be known is to be vulnerable, accountable, and moldable.
Adam and Eve knew all about this. One of the aspects of the creation poems in Genesis revelved around the fact that they were naked and unashamed. They could walk with their God (and with each other, in fact) naked and have no worry about what God felt of them.
When sin entered the world, shame came with nakedness and humanity scattered. Being known meant having to bear with each other’s sins, shortcoming, and pride.
That is why so many would rather not be known. While the deep longings of our soul beckon us towards knowing and being known by others, we often choose the easy way out – settling for a life surface level relationships. We don’t want to be known and “naked”.
But, with all that said…..man it feels good to be known.
What about you? Do you feel known? How does it feel to be really and truly known by someone? Have you ever avoided being known?