Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Will Someone Know Me?

There is a woman in her mid-eighties who has been coming to my Bible study each week. Her first visits to the Bible study were characterized by what can only be described as a high level of personal skepticism about God. Initially, she came only with her daughter, but now she will often come to the study all by herself. She has a wonderfully rich and diverse and painful life history and background. She has lived in several different states, she has been married three previous times - one of her previous husbands suffered, and still does, from serious mental health issues. She has experienced personal verbal and physical abuse in her 80 plus years of life.

I recently learned that one of the main reasons that she is coming to my Bible study is because she wants someone to do her own funeral when she passes away (sometime in the unknown future). The exact words that she used, however, when requesting a pastor to do her funeral have stuck with me. They have struck me at my hearts core. She asked, "When I die...will ANYBODY KNOW ME?" My octogenarian friend's question is, of course, much more profound than she realizes.

The question for all of us when we die is, "Will anybody know us?" The question for all people who are living is, "Am I known?" "Who Knows About Me?" "Yes, I am known, but does anybody really KNOW me?" The question also points to the deep human need to have two basic things in our lives:

1. To know God
2. To be fully known by God

All people eventually ask the same questions. Who will KNOW ME? Am I KNOWN?

As I have witnessed the church, the body of Christ, over the past ten years of my ministry, I have come to believe that the church can actually be the mechanism by which people become KNOWN. The church can actually take part in the kingdom of God by learning about, and KNOWING, people who would ordinarily have faded into an obscure, insignificant state of never being known: families, wives, husbands, aunts, construction workers, lawyers, government agents, police officers, homeless people, drug addicts, foster kids, retired couples...all want to be KNOWN. Maybe one of the core purposes for our faith is to KNOW - Through Jesus Christ - to KNOW people who were previously unknown.

Paul said, "Now, we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I KNOW in part, then I shall KNOW fully, even as I am FULLY KNOWN." (1 Cor. 13:12)

My favorite quote from the Bible about KNOWING God, comes from Job, after he experiences deep trouble and trauma in his personal life;

"I KNOW that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without KNOWLEDGE? Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to KNOW." (Job 42:2-3)

All For Now,

No comments:

Post a Comment