I recently received a text from a close friend who is single. She told me how she is dreaming of the hugs she will be able to give and receive once this whole quarantine is over. My heart sank into my stomach. Then I started thinking about the widows and widowers. The ones who already feel the weight of their loneliness now having to bear the magnitude of the loneliness only exacerbated by this quarantine. There are far greater sufferings in the world than loneliness, but right now those who are alone are especially vulnerable to depression and anxiety due to the overwhelming insurgence of isolation. They are feeling this season much more deeply. We are only in week one of our self-quarantine and I am already reflecting on the graciousness I have been shown.
Here sits this man. This one who is wildly opposite of me yet compliments my every fiber of existence. I’m fully known by him. He knows me. All of me. He is faithful to me when I don’t want him to be, or when I have failed to be. This kind of being known cannot be understood by individuals who are unmarried. To say so would belittle the mystery found in this kind of being known. This is different than any other type of intimacy. I know this because I’ve had deeply intimate relationships with people from all walks of life, yet I come back to this one to receive this strange gift of being known THIS way. Being deeply known and loved is at the heart of every individual ever created. I don’t long to be known for being known’s sake. I long to be known because, while I know God knows me, I am known like this, by another, by a husband, because there is a depth of safety to completely be me as a human. To completely be myself. When I am known like this, I can intrinsically believe in my soul I am loved. This kind of being known takes phileo love, storge love, eros love, and uses them to transcend to agape love in a specific kind of way. It’s a God love. Hessed love- loving regardless of what you know about a person.
This man has seen me at my best and chose to love me, still, at my worst. He has watched me drift at sea for years only after offering an anchor of loving truth in an effort to woo me back to himself. In spite of choosing to continue to drift, he was there to welcome me when I finally washed ashore in a battered and broken boat. He has always seen ten steps ahead of me warning of coming danger, and has been there to bandage the hurts and self-inflicted injuries when I didn’t want to listen. He knows me. He knows me like no one else on this planet. This is the greatest gift he could ever give me. His body, his sacrificial service, his provision, and protection are only an added bonus. These are the ways he shows me he already knows me. Being known like this takes the weight of so many burdens off my back in the relationship. There is no love like being known fully. To be loved fully is a love I can’t appreciate enough. My husband enjoys knowing me. He takes pride in having figured me out, yet is willing to learn more about me as I grow and change. Romance comes and goes. But being known…. this is such a gift he can give even when the romance and sex end. Which, will inevitably end. This intimacy, in being fully known, continues even after that which will die off finally does.
So, as some fear isolation, are saddened by the loneliness, perhaps longing for the day when they can have human contact again, I sit so undeservingly of this gift of being known here in my home. No one else needs to know me in this way. No one else could probably handle knowing me in this way if I’m honest. I receive it humbly from the Lord as I receive more of Jesus through my husband knowing me. I don’t have to work for this gift. I don’t have to prove my worth here. Jesus proved everything for me when he overcame death and was RAISED BACK TO LIFE.
This appreciation points me to the Lord’s love. Where I am PERFECTLY known by my God, not just deeply by my husband.
** Cue Jimmy Fallon’s “Thank you” note music**: Thank you, COVID-19, for showing me how deeply known I am by a man, and how perfectly I am known by the Creator.