In the next couple of weeks I have the incredible blessing of reconnecting in person with two of my dearest friends and favorite people on the planet. One lives in New York City. The other in Southern California. Both of them I have known nearly half my life,yet I have seen neither of them face to face in years.
But I know that there will be no awkward silence in our times together. I doubt there will be much silence at all! There is much to catch up on, much to share, and there is life to be lived; two moments that I anticipate will be memories that last a lifetime.
Do you have friends like that? Friends who know you better than you’re really comfortable with, because they know your best AND your worst?
The idea of being in relationships like that used to terrify me, because the idea of revealing weakness or imperfection terrified me.
But in the last few years, I’ve begun to see how God created us with an inherent desire to both know and be known. As He is in relationship, both in Himself as the Trinitarian God, and with His creation, we are created in His image to also be in relationship with Him and with others. And, I have learned, to know and to be known is the only true way in which to extend and to experience grace.
Only when we are known at our deepest levels, when we are transparent enough to bear our souls and risk rejection, do we also open ourselves up to receive the most genuine act of love; to know someone and love them anyway.
This is why I am so excited about reuniting with these friends; they know me, and that no longer scares me. I can be myself and that is celebrated, not critiqued, examined or judged. Just loved and challenged and encouraged.
Who are the people in your life who love you in spite of yourself? Who are the people you love in that same way?
In other words, with whom are you practicing the love of Christ?