As I awoke this morning, with the gentle pitter-patter of rain drops hitting my window accompanied not by sun, nor by shine, there stirred in me an emotion. This emotion is one which I know far too well. It is the emotion I experienced when, as a child, my family moved, and then as a teenager when my Youth Pastor took a job at another church, and even now in college amid the daily rhythmic deluge of classes, friends and homework. This emotion is one which has been given a name, a name which, in my opinion, does not justly fit that which is experienced. To say I am lonely is a lie, yet that is the only term given to describe the sense of singularity, distance, and weakness experienced. I have never been one who is ‘lonely’. I have many friends, many people whom I love, and, in return, love me. There are always people around and there are always people with whom I can talk. Yet loneliness is what we call this experience. It is my belief that the term loneliness is a deceiving concept, as it implies that the remedy to this emotional sickness is, simply, to not be lonely; it is to surround oneself with other people, creating in us a self-value based on those around us. This is not a sufficient cure, as many who are lonely have many people around them. No, loneliness is not what is being experienced; what is being experienced is a sense of not being known.
We all want to be known, to have someone know who we are, not just the things we experience, but the thoughts we have and why we have those thoughts. In us there is a desire to be known, to be able to confide those things with which we struggle most deeply. We have a need to be known, to have another look at us, and understand what we are experiencing in the deepest parts of our soul. We have a need, manifested as a want. To be known is what we want, not love or approval nor acceptance, but instead to have someone know us and to say that in spite of what they know about us, that they still want to know us more.
This need to be known, so long ignored by us, creates in us a sense of loneliness. This sense of loneliness, so often, manifests itself as despair. Because of this, it is to the despaired, to those who need to be known, that I say this. It is to those who are the lonely masses, who are marching together in a parade pursuing the superficial approval of others, who are lonely all because we have exchanged truly being known, and our knowing others, for cheap expressions of acceptance, for likes and re-tweets, that I say this. It is to each of us who have given up being known for who we are in exchange for being known for details about us, who have allowed our preferences, our histories and our affiliations to be what define us, in the scope of what others see, I say this: You are known!
There is One who knows us. He knew us before we knew we existed. It was He who knew us before we were even being formed in our mothers’ wombs. Before He laid the foundations of the world, He knew us. He knew YOU, as he delicately designed you. He knew you while you grew up. He knew you even while you did not know Him. He knows you, your deepest thoughts, your darkest secrets and your fiercest of fears, all are not hidden from Him. He knows all and He knows you. He is the creator of the heavens and He is the creator of you. The endless expansions of the universe can not escape His sight, nor can the most private of inward thoughts travel out of His view. You are known.
It is because you are known, that you are not alone. The Ruler of the heavens, the Maker of the earth knows you. You are not alone. The One who is above all things, and sustains all things, He who is the originator of truth, is with you. You are not alone. His promise stands, to never leave nor to forsake those who are His children. He is with you. You are known and you are loved by the God who created you. He has made you so that He could know you and that you could know Him. Do not feel alone, nor abandoned, for He is with you. Do not accept the lie of loneliness; that you are stranded and cut off, that your value is found with whom you associate. The God of the universe loves you and values you, for you belong to Him. You are His creation, there is nothing about you that He does not understand. You are known.