With apologies to the people at vespers on Wednesday night who already heard this, I’d like to read for you the daily Guidepost devotional for that day.
“You got the package?” Matt asked. His voice was slightly distorted, but it was good to see his face over video chat. I lifted a brown parcel in confirmation. “Open it!” he said.
I began stripping away packaging tape. Matt and I had been friends since college. We hadn't seen each other in person for years, but he was one of my closest friends. I had been overjoyed last month when he announced his engagement.
I unfolded box flaps. On top of the foam packaging was a note that read, ‘Would you be one of my groomsmen?’ I grinned.
“Matt, I would be honored.’
Matt waved his hand. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now comes the good part. There's a gift in there.”
I reached into the packaging until I found something solid, then pulled it out. It was a pocketknife with a dark wooden handle. I flipped it open. It felt made for my hand. “Matt, it's....it's totally you, isn't it?”
He said, “I picked that handle because it looks classic.” I closed the blade and turned the knife over, admiring the wood grain. I was at a loss for words. The knife was exactly what I would have chosen for myself.
Matt's gift made me feel known. My friendship with Matt ran deep. Matt didn't just know things about me. He knows how I think, how I feel, and who I am. And to be truly known is one of the greatest gifts in the world.
“Matt, I just….” I trailed off.
“No need to say anything. I get it.’ And I believed he did.”
“To be truly known is one of the greatest gifts in the world,” wrote the author.
“The Lord called me before I was born, while I was in my mother's womb he named me,’ wrote Isaiah. “For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb,” wrote the author of Psalm 139.
“God had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace,” wrote the author of Galatians.
“Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,’” wrote Jeremiah.
“Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known,” writes Paul in 1 Corinthians.
“Even as I have been fully known. Before you were formed, I knew you. While you were being knit together, I named you. Before you were born, I called you.”
What an intimate God we have. The Guideposts’ author believes that to be truly known is one of the greatest gifts in the world. But I suppose that there are others out there, and maybe in here, that believe to be so well known is spooky, even a little frightening.