To Know and Be Known

I have heard it said that being a Christian is all about being fully human in the sense that Adam was fully human before he sinned.
I guess I am not sure about that but I do think that Adam may have been a bit more relational before he took a bite of that proverbial apple. Eating the apple seemed to put a wedge between he and Eve.. wonder what their relationship was like after they left Eden.

Speaking about leaving Eden, consider this story that Ezra Klein describes in a Washington Post article titled Being 'fully human' online:
Consider the case of the CEO whose testimony persuaded Cooper to embark on this project: "He told me that he used virtual world games to play with his children," Cooper remembers. "He was divorced and had bad access to them, so he would meet them every evening in 'Everquest,' where they could play and chat. I asked him, what did they talk about? He told me they discussed things like homework, school, their mother; the normal stuff of humdrum reality."
I like this story because it conveys to us the idea that "being" human is all about "being" in relationship with others.. even if the relationship is virtual. I loved the idea that a dad found a way to interact with his kids via an online game. I know that he would prefer something different but liked how he embraced an alternate way of having a relationship with his kids.

I think that somehow we sometimes get the idea that "being" is all about "being" alone. Even religious people sometimes embrace an idea that all they need to be fully human is God in their lives. This idea gets wings when our relating to others wounds us deeply.. in pain we react by isolating ourselves. Yet in truth, God has designed us to be fully human "together". He looked at Adam and said that it was good not for him to be alone. Consider this quote:
Dialogue starts from the courageous willingness to know and be known by others. It is the painstaking and persistent effort to remove all obstacles that obscure our common humanity. -Daisaku Ikeda
Knowing and being known communicates a deep level of relationship. I like how Ikeda says this kind of relationship takes a courageous and painstaking willingness. I agree with him that this kind of relationship is not quickly built. Removing obstacles like anger, hurt and unforgiveness (to name a few) take time and requires a lot of persistence.

Having transparent and vulnerable relationships with others can help us to know ourselves in a way that nothing else can. When we share our hurts and failures we can experience a deep level of vulnerability. Revealing our fears to another can expose those fears to the light of humility. Sharing our hearts with another can strengthen us on the inside. Having the courage to be open helps us to be real - and it helps others to be as well.


  1. Good thoughts. I believe one of the ways we are made in God's image is in relationship. God is relational and we are made to be in relation with him and with other people.

  2. I find myself so easily agreeing with this, but when when it comes to the reality of it, on a day to day basis, this is so much harder that I wish it was.

    Nearly every day, I wish I could figure out how I can live in the reality of constantly being hurt and disappointed by the behavior of others without it completely souring me on relational life.

  3. @co_heir - Thanks. Relationships seem to right be the heart of who we are.

    @Stephanie - I sometimes wish that my expectations of others were lower. I think that some of my issues involve the religious imagery of church being a family and Christians being brothers and sisters. I have come to realize that people I church with are not really family or friends but merely people I share a common interest with. On the positive side some of these have become my friends and a few close friends. All that said, I honestly do understand the disappointment you speak of and am sorry for it.


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