“Do you know my name?” Mia cornerned me at the front desk and quizzed me. She was asking because her mom had mentioned that they used to live at Joshua Station a few years ago and that I was their neighbor. I passed the test when I said, “Yes. You’re Mia.” On one hand I think Mia was quizzing me for fun. On the other hand, I think she was revealing her deep desire to be known. This is a desire that I see surface often through our kids at Joshua Station. It’s also a desire that I share, and I would bet all of you would say the same.
Kids like Mia need a community around them that is willing to see them, to hear them. However I can’t help but think that Mia is searching for a far deeper known-ness than her neighbors remembering her name. I believe that she is searching for the known-ness that only comes from God knowing us and us knowing ourselves–I believe the two are inseparable.
I suppose that it’s my role to see these kids, to hear these kids, and to remind them that they are known. While this is certainly not a great place to end, it’s a good place for our kids to start. They are loved and known by their community, and we pray that they will become more and more aware of the deep truth that they are entirely loved and known by their Creator.
This awareness of God’s knowing us and loving us leads to a certain type of contentment with who we are. We can finally let go of our need to prove ourselves to be worthy of love, because we are already loved to our core. We can finally let go of our need to be better, more beautiful, smarter, more theologically correct than our neighbor, because we have already experienced the deepest affirmation.
Have I dug too deep into a simple interaction with a child? Maybe. But, I have learned so much about God and myself from them that I have decided to pay attention and error on the side of believing that they are constantly teaching me more. I pray that each of you will begin to feel your own Known-ness that comes from God. I also pray that you will begin to know yourself through the truth that God is speaking about you. As Paul reminds the Galatians in the 3rd chapter of his letter to them, when we begin to see ourselves as God sees us we realize that we are heirs to the promise given to Abraham–we are God’s Children. We are known.
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