Everyone wants to be known. In those places of business we frequent, there is a particular pleasure when the staff or owners know us by name (accompanied by a smile, preferably)!
I have personally experienced this regularly; well, maybe not regularly. When your last name is “Grieme,” the mispronunciations are legion. The fact they remember my name, well this is a more universally appreciated emotion; the fact they can pronounce my name correctly, well, this elevates the experience to a symphony!
I believe this desire “to be known” is one of the reasons for the exponential explosion of social media. Every post, every like, every share and every platform undergirds our desires to be known!
This ecosystem of need manifests itself within an irony of action. The very ones who are seeking their value and worth through these digital environs, comport themselves in a manner which undermines their ability to receive this want in actual reality. We all observe an extremely large (and ever increasing) portion of our society which live their lives, while ambulatory, without the physical connection with another human due to their obsession with a faux, digital world.
Many a young person—and even those not-so-young—come to a devastating conclusion that they cannot maintain long-term employment while being attached to a digital IV dispensing their fix. Few employers will tolerate snippets of attention to projects they assign to said employee with such an all-consuming addiction controlling them.
Simple response: then they should stop. The problem is one of conditioning. These people have spent their whole lives addicted to their devices; they have no experience existing without such a digital presence in their lives. This is what gives them value and worth!
Back to my beginning, everyone desires to be known, and more, to have value! Yet for the believer in Jesus Christ, our value is found in the fact that we are known by God! Jesus Himself refers to us as “His sheep” who “hear His voice” (John 10:27 ESV). Yet this is important: We are not the sheep of God because we hear (a choice on our part) but we hear because we belong to God and are His sheep!
With every enunciation of the good news of the Gospel, there exists the echo of judgment. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells of how He will respond to those who claim to be His, to belong to Him, but in reality, are not His. In Matthew 7:23 after listening to the attestations of those who claim to be His, He says, “I never knew you; depart from Me.”
In these words of Jesus there exists the epitome of all human fears: to not be known. This exceeds the mere knowing of our name; this is an intimate knowledge which leaves nothing undiscovered.
Herein is our greatest fear. The fear of being unknown.
I’ve always considered myself fairly content, of course, I’m not even sure why “content” is even an issue or even what it is. I’m not even sure why “I’m” even an issue.
Some of the others say I have OCD; though, admittedly, no one has ever defined that label and I certainly cannot define it. I guess I am just “me.” This is very convenient since I have no ability to really be anything else but me.
My right hip has been itching again. I told my people about it and they all just snicker and continue eating. Granted, I know I am very good at eating; I prefer clover, but long, deeply green grass is as good as candy—whatever candy is!
So there I was, happily and contentedly eating the grass just outside the area where we all sleep. There was a noise, a rather melodious tone which I recognized but I do not recall ever hearing it before. Others also heard it—I saw their heads raise up—but many resumed eating. The sound came again, yet this time I understood it: Come!
I wasn’t the only one, there were others, yet many ignored the sound. I was drawn to it, it literally resonated through all of who I am. As I began to move toward it, all who recognized it started moving faster and faster; not to be left behind (and that place on my hip was itching again), I started running too!
There was a man, a man who was calling my name! He touched me, stroked me and told me I belonged to Him. I felt so much contentment and love when I heard Him say my name. I knelt at His feet, I laid my head on His lap, and He uncovered the spot on my hip that had been itching for as long as I could remember.
“He is yours,” a voice told the Man, “there is My mark, My brand on him.” The Man looked at me and smiled at me. He said to the Voice, “Can you see the damage done by the wolves and his poor choices?”
“You know I cannot My Son; Your blood has made him as white as snow.”
I loved this Man. I loved His Father and there is something in me which lets me know I will always be His. I now remember all I have read (read?) and recall words from long ago:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 ESV)
I now am forever with this One; I cannot leave and I cannot be lost!