I found another one today, resting on my dresser. It lay softly on a pile of receipts that await entry into our budgeting spreadsheet. Somewhat crinkled, dog-eared and covered halfway with penciled words was a sheet of lined paper. It was host to a writing assignment, now complete. My wife placed the paper there, offering me a chance to sample some homeschooling fruit. And this day, the fruit was sweet.
The assignment I ingested required one of our ‘students’ to write a descriptive paragraph about someone. My son chose to write about himself. A brave boy, he is. Below is what he wrote. As part of my “I won’t embarrass you on my blog” agreement, I’ll refer to my child as ‘Freddy.’
“Freddy’s general appearance is blonde hair, green eyes, roundish face, and an ear size difference. He is a born-again Christian and has a slight habit of eating paper. He is rather creative when it comes to making jokes off of what people say and is very intellectual. He’s not very good at drawing or art in general. He is rather accustomed to rules and does his best to follow them. He is also logical and, of his siblings, is most like his dad. Freddy lives in a modest family which always seems to have enough – and maybe a little more.”
Okay, stop. Just go do it. Go ahead. It’s okay. I did it too. Find the nearest mirror and compare the size of your ears. Yes, mine are different sizes. At least I know where my son gets his asymmetry. Unfortunately, this revelation has fostered an urge to stare at other people’s ears.
Ears and all, I appreciate the honest observations my boy made of himself. He’s done well with grasping not just his physical characteristics, but some of his behaviors too. I’m slightly disturbed by the paper eating (yes, we do feed him) but moved to gratitude at his recognition of God’s provision for the basics – and then some.
Not long ago, I met a super hero – and he was me. In the discovery of my hero, I learned how I’m tempted toward the innocuous comfort of mild-mannered citizenry instead of robust living in my God-given ‘superness.’ (read here for more super hero context) My son’s simple musings in his writing assignment entice me to know more about him. They also energize me to a quicker walk down my own path of self-discovery. I’ve been walking that path with intentionality as of late, and his words offer me freshness for the next leg.
I need that freshness because exploring who I am seems big. Intimidating. Unruly. Raw. But I’m coaxed through my fear by the promise that unsettled ground will soon level into a wide meadow of freedom.
We are made to be known. Not known as in eye color or the proclivity to snack on tree pulp. But known emotionally. Known by our passions and desires. Known through experiences and relationships. Know in our longings and fulfillment. Known in our delights and in being delightful. Known for our being, not just our doing.
Such deep knowing seems far off. Airy. Theoretical. But it’s not. In fact, I’m already known. Fully and wonderfully and delightfully.
Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father…” (John 10:14–15a, ESV) Jesus knows those who love and trust Him. Not casually, but to the core. His knowledge of his followers is just like how He and the Father know each other. Pure. Whole. Trustworthy. Complete. Lovely. Peaceful. That level of knowing is spectacular. And it is ours. In God’s safe care, it is life.
God invites each of us to know Him in His knowing us. To bring Him our joy and grief and laughter and longings. To meditate and listen and rest and sing and write. To experience His presence in the mundane and the magnificent. To flourish as His craftsmanship without regret or shame or shyness of fear. To be super, not suppressed.
I am known, and I am grateful. From the secure place of Christ’s love, I can open myself to being known, and to knowing others. Knowing more, that is, than ear sizes.