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“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

The sun set in the distance. The warm spring air shifted as the sun said its goodbyes and the night sky rose.  Two friends met outside exchanging words while light faded into the night.  One of these friends expressed her heart—in it a cry or a plea from the depths—a desperation to be seen. 

Isn’t this the longing of all human hearts—to be truly seen, to be truly known. Not known for what they do.  Not known for their status or occupation or position, but to be just known—personally and intimately.  What their favorite color is, favorite movie or song.  If they like ketchup or mayonnaise, the warm weather or cold.  What makes their hearts dance and sing and what makes them cry. How they have been hurt or are still being hurt and to know that someone cares and sees and wants to know them.  There is no greater gift than to give the gift of knowing another.

The other side of this knowing comes with risk.  The risk is if I let another in, will they accept me?  Will they love me?  Is who I am enough?  Without veil, without cover. With no applause, no accolades, no accomplishment.  Will I be loved and accepted for just being me?  For me, that would mean, will you love me—Sue—whose favorite color is blue, whose favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice, who loves to spend time with my family, taking walks, running with friends, and basking in the warmth of the sun on a clear day.   One of my joys is cuddling with my husband, feeling the warmth of his strength as we embrace.  My children make my heart sing and hurting people wreck me.  The Lord’s goodness undoes me and I long to see His people set free. 

In fear of being known or risking knowing others, we self-protect.  This is an overlooked sin that isn’t preached about on Sunday morning.  We don’t let others too close nor do we get too close to others.  As a result, the human condition is in dire straits.  Our hearts long to be known but at the same time, we fear the risk is too great.  We suffer from the pretense of it all while longing for more.  But what if we risked?  What if we threw caution to the wind and risked being known or risked knowing others.  What could happen in our churches, in our communities if we stepped outside of our comforts and took a step of faith across the aisle or across the street into the life of another to know them, truly know them?  I ask because I truly wonder and need to be better at this as well.  It would change our churches, our communities and possibly eventually our world. 

Another one of my favorite movies is the live motion picture Cinderella (2015).  There is a line from this movie that says:

“Was who she was, who she really was, really enough?  This is perhaps the greatest risk any of us will ever take:  To be seen as we truly are. “  Cinderella (2015) 

This is the question on the heart of mankind.  Am I enough?

Cinderella fell in love with the prince.   Although she loved the prince, inside she feared she really wasn’t enough.  But the prince loved her just as she was.  She was enough.

You have a Prince who loves you as you are…dirt, rags and all, who is crazy in love with you.  He loves you just because you are you.  He already knows your favorite color and what you like to do on a rainy day.  He knows your joys and your sadness.  There is nothing to fear—He loves perfectly.  You are enough. 

It is a seemingly hard task or tall order to be as Jesus and love as He does, a Prince who sees us just as we are and loves us perfectly in that.  What he actually sees is who He created us to be and He sees us according to our destiny. He sees us with unveiled faces as we are transformed into His image from glory to glory. What a worthy challenge and charge to love as He does and see people and treat them as He does—according to their royal destiny and His glory yet to come.  

People should not be defined by their past or even present.  There is much more to the story.  May we be free to love and see people for who they are and be courageous enough to let others see us, truly see us.  To truly know and be known is one of the greatest gifts.

Father, thank you for knowing me– truly knowing me, in every way, and loving me. Forgive me for ways I have self-protected and hid from others.  Help me to love others like you do and see them and know them. Help me see myself and others with an unveiled face as you transform us into Your image from glory to glory.  Also, help me to be willing to let others know me and enter into relationships with others. Help me truly take off the veil that separates me from you and others.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.