"I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Show me the wonders of your great love..." Psalm 17:7
There is this moment early in the Gospel of John where Jesus meets Nathanael, a young man who would soon become one of his twelve disciples. Nathanael is brought by Philip, who had already been captivated by Jesus and called to follow.
When Philip introduces Nathanael, Jesus declares to all who are gathered, "Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit." Nathanael asks Jesus, "How do you know me?" Jesus replies, "I saw you while you still under the fig tree when Philip came to get you."
Nathanael is amazed because not only has Jesus asserted that he knows who Nathanael really is, he then goes on to prove it by miraculously revealing his knowledge of something that he could not have known except through divine sight.
And in that moment Nathanael pledges his loyalty and love to Jesus by saying, "Teacher, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel!"
The two greatest longings in every human heart are the longings to both know and to be known. We long to know that there is something greater at work around us.
St. Augustine referred to this as a "God-shaped hole." We also long to be known--by others, of course, but mostly by the "something" or "someone" greater than ourselves.
When that moment comes, when you feel known by God and realize that God not only loves you, but has been present in your life, meeting you where you are... it's the most fulfilling feeling you could ever experience.
Poet Lisa Mueller describes it like this: "It's about two seemingly parallel lines suddenly coming together inside us, in some place that is still wilderness."
And how like God to meet us in the wilderness within us--in the places where we feel unknown, lost and afraid. How like God to find us there and reveal to us the truth about ourselves: that we are loved beyond all love and intimately known.
May you find the very presence of God in your own wilderness spaces today. May you allow yourself to feel the "known-ness" of that presence in your life. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.