I’m part of a group of women, eight or nine of us, now retired, who used to teach at a Catholic girls’ secondary school run by the Sisters of St. Ann. We know each other pretty well, in that way that only comes when you work with another person over a long period of time.
Perhaps you’re thinking to yourself, “Teachers are alone in their classrooms. Is she saying she knows these others from lunch time in the staff room?” No. Some of these women helped me put on musical and dramatic productions, and that kind of cooperation over months reveals a person’s character very clearly. In the case of two others, we took students on international field trips, also requiring close cooperation. We know each other, strengths and weaknesses, virtues and faults.
Yesterday we had our monthly brunch, meeting at a centrally located restaurant, and I noticed how easily the conversation flowed. We laughed, joked, caught up with news, made plans. It was so comfortable, being in that group, not having to worry about what I should say or not say, feeling known and accepted, one of the bunch. Maybe it’s because I was an only child, but I’m not always at ease in groups, not knowing exactly where I fit in.
So, afterward I was musing about the blessings of knowing and being known. And I felt I had learned a little more about the love of God, who knows me through and through and loves me just as I am. Being known and loved by God, I fit within his Church, at ease because I know I belong, I have a place.
As for knowing God, of course we can only know in part. I know him from the Bible, from prayer, and from seeing his work in my life. And this is one of the benefits of growing old, that one can look back and see much more distinctly how God has woven together the threads of one’s life. But there have been many times that I have shut him out, refused to listen. I do not know him as I should.
I want to do better! I want to pay attention; I don’t have time to waste. God grants me another day, one by one, and at the end I want to be able to say, “I trust you, God, for you have made yourself known to me. Now let me know your glory and see you as you truly are.”