knowing the 5th

“We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God.” 1 Corinthians 8:1b-3
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs on your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.” Luke 12:6-8
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 20

“I was reading in the book of Matthew, and as I got to the end of the final chapter, a terrible, earth-shattering, soul-rocking thought dawned on me: He was there. God was there the night I was raped. He heard my protests and saw my tears and watched me get those bruises.
And he didn’t stop it…
God knows pain. He knows what it feels like to be rejected and abused and despairing, because Jesus felt those things first. This truth is difficult. It’s not as pretty or tidy or straightforward, but it’s real.
I find comfort in the reality that God was there, because the only thing worse than realizing He was there was thinking that he wasn’t.
I am comforted that by being there when I was raped, God saw it for how bad it was. He heard my cries and he hears them now. He sees. He knows. He understands.
I may never understand why God allowed rape to happen to me. But of this I am sure: God came to my rescue in the dark aftermath of my rape and he continues to come to my rescue on my up-and-down path of healing.” from God Saw My Rape and He Didn’t Stop It from The Good Women Project

“We look at the same buildings and streets and field. But what we see is completely different. It’s difficult to accept that these people who are now my people can never really understand my past…we need the whole mix of them, this community of people put together by God. And it hurts to know them sometimes, to let them know me. But this is family, community in many ways, a picture of the church. Some of them remember as well as I do, others remember better…somethings are not for everyone to know, some gifts and lessons are only for those who lived through it. I’m learning to accept that and maybe even be thankful for it.” from What Happens When You Try to Go Home Again
from Chatting at the Sky

The 5th sparrow is the forgotten one. For two pennies, you could buy four sparrows and the vendor would throw in the 5th one for free.
I’ve been working on this post for a month and nothing says what I have to say better than the excerpts from those two blogs. I still can’t figure out how to articulate my struggle and frustration of figuring out what it means to be known by God and others. Instead of boring you with thoughts that run in circles, I’m going to pray for you about it because that’s all I’ve been able to do.

God, you know who is reading this right now. Bless him or her. Let him know your presence, especially when he walks through this difficult time. Gently remind her over the next few days, weeks, months, or however long this season in her life will last, that you have promised to be with her every hour of every day. God, when he leans toward isolation I pray that you will soften his heart to the community around him. Fill her up with your love and kindness, so that when she is exhausted by this season she will extend grace, forgiveness, and millions of second chances to every person she meets. God, remind him that because of your Son Jesus Christ, he is invited to have eternal purpose in every word he utters and in every action he takes. Let this season make her better, not bitter. Remind him that people are just people and sometimes they won’t know what to say. Remind her that her worth is not found in how others assign value to her pain and healing. Remind him that you offer him hope that transcends any difficult circumstance. Remind her that you know her better than anyone ever can or could–show her that is something to be celebrated, not lamented. Remind him of who he is and who you are calling him to become. Even when its unbearable, remind her that this is not the way you intended the world to be–and that with you there is hope for change. In these times, give him the strength and willingness to remember you as the one who knows him and everything about him. When she isn’t in this season, remind her to love others who are. When he isn’t in this season, remind him step outside of himself, and through your love to carry the burden of those around him who can’t carry it all on their own.

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