One of my deepest desires is to be known. To be truly seen, and fully accepted.
It was after mid-night on a flight home from Thailand when I was first able to verbalize this need. Just hours before I had been sitting in brothels talking with women who were trapped in the sex trade. I was feeling quite raw and overwhelmed from the experience. I needed to hear from Him.
Everyone on the plane was asleep, but I was wide awake. As I sat in the silence of that plane, God showed up. I felt like I was having a face to face encounter with Him, a private meeting of sorts. My heart was quiet and honest and wide open. God was speaking to me.
I was cuddled up under an airline blanket. My eyes were filled with tears. I stared out my window, looking at the heavens that He created with a spoken word, then stared down at His living and lasting word that lie open in my hands. He was speaking through it all.
Within that nearly silent airplane cabin, He was thundering His love all around me. He was captivating my heart with truth that has become foundational to who I am. Truth that was at the core of His heart for me in that moment, but also for the women I had just met, who were trapped in unthinkable slavery.
This truth is foundational for all of us, really.
To me, to them, to all of us in our own forms of bondage, He whispers this eternal truth:
“I know you. I know you deeply, completely and more fully than anyone will ever be able to know you. I see you – to the core of your being – and I love you. There is nothing you can do and nowhere you can go to escape my loving and knowing gaze. I am with you, before you and behind you. You are known and seen and loved and accepted by Me. I delight in you, my marvelous child.”
I was stunned speechless. My heart skipped a beat, sincerely enraptured by His love. The familiar words of Psalm 139 washed over me afresh, like I had never read them before.
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.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
1even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
Amazed. Awed. Surrendered to such an expansive, knowing, intimate God.
He knows me.
This one reality brings me more comfort than almost any other. I am known. Not just partially by someone who is as frail as me, but completely by the One who made me. The One who is flawless and holy. The One who sees me, knows me, and STILL fully delights in me.
He knows you.
He loves you.