We said goodbye to some friends tonight. One of the downsides of living in a place like Cambridge is that for all the new people that are coming in, just as many are leaving. This could be true of anywhere you live, I suppose, but in Cambridge the cycle of coming and going is compressed into three years. Three years may sound like a lot at first, but we just finished our first year, during which we did a great deal of settling in and getting to know new people, places, etc. It feels like we’re just getting to know our friends, and some of them are already leaving… it makes me want roots.
People need roots… knowing people and places is just the start of it; the real treasure is not just in getting to know who other people really are, it’s in realizing that after all the time you’ve spent with someone, they are finally getting to know who you are as well. We all long to be known deeply; getting recognized in Wal-Mart isn’t good enough. We want to be known by others because deep down we’re all pretty much still trying to figure out who we are, and the smart ones of us have figured out that relationship is the only way it happens. This means that as much as we need others to show us a bit more of who we are; there’s a few people at least that need us for the same thing. I suppose in some way this is what Christ does; in all the little ways that we rarely ever see, He, who knows us more deeply than we can imagine, is trying to reveal to us bit by bit who He created us to be. Maybe that means that being Christ to someone else has less to do with what we can give them, and more to do with how willing we are to know them, listen to their life, and, at some point, to finally get to the holy and hidden heart of who God made them to be.