Sunday, February 23, 2020

Fully Known and Clearly Understood by God



1 Corinthians 13:12 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition ends with the words, "I am fully and clearly known and understood by God." What a comfort those words have been to me over the years. I'm a quirky, almost equally right and left brained, highly sensitive person who frequently doesn't "get" myself and even more frequently doubts that others really know and understand me.

But, there are moments in time when God uses people to get that truth across to us, the truth that we are seen, known and loved by Him.  I hope I've been used to be that person to others.  I certainly remember those who have been used by God to be that voice of encouragement in my own life.  I'd like to share one such memory with you today.

Some years ago, my husband and I were at a casual gathering of pastors and pastors' wives. It was at this event that I had a five minute life-changing encounter, an encounter where Jesus used someone else to show me that He saw me there, that He knows me.  It was a casual summer barbecue and a group of ladies were gathered on the backyard deck of the host's home.  Conversation was surface-y as it can be when a group of people don't know one another well.  Suddenly, one beautifully elegant, older black woman stepped up and took control of the situation, not in the negative sense of that word control, but in the sense of guiding the group of ladies past the surface into the heart depths. For years, she and her husband were the lead pastors of one of the oldest multi-racial churches in our area.  Like a mother hen, she gathered us ladies around her like her little chicks.  One by one she asked us our names and some questions about ourselves.  She looked each one of us in the eye when she talked to us.  She made us feel like she was fully invested and interested in us.  As each woman spoke their name she would pause, look that person in the eye and say a word over them that started with the same letter as their name.  As I write this, it sounds like a contrived and insincere exercise, but when I looked into her eyes and she looked into mine I knew she spoke from not only her heart, but from the heart of God.  She said,  "Elizabeth, you're an  encourager."  Then she proceeded to say how important and necessary the gift of encouragement is to the body of Christ.  I've  never forgotten that encounter, the look on her face, the words she spoke over me.  God used her to speak  to me and every other women gathered around her.  In essence, she said, "God sees you, loves you, and He knows you.  You are a vital part of His body no matter how well or how little you are known, no matter the size or the influence of your ministry."  She not only told me I was an encourager, she made me want to be one in a greater way.  She made me want to be what she was to me that day. 

Last night I watched the movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a movie based on the story of Mr. Rogers and his relationship with a magazine reporter who was assigned to interview him. I pretty much cried through the whole movie. You see, Mr. Roger's lived his life with the philosophy that there's no more important person in the world than the one you have in front of you right now. God used Fred Rogers to change lives by seeing others through God's eyes and by making them feel known and understood and loved. Like the wonderful woman I wrote about above, like Mr. Rogers, I want to be an instrument of God's love to others and I believe you feel the same. Perhaps, that begins with first accepting and believing and trusting that the One Who Created us fully knows, clearly understands and deeply and forever loves us. Perhaps that enables us to let go of self-absorbtion and to be more focused on others than we are on ourselves. Perhaps, grasping this simple truth can set us free to love and accept both ourselves and others well.




2 comments:

  1. Elizabeth, this is just beautiful. What a precious lesson this woman brought to the group -> the awareness of being seen and loved. I want to give that gift to those around me. I've been wanting to see the movie and now know, I need to to see the movie :)

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  2. I loved it! Let me know what you think.

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