What does it mean “to know that I am known”?

In a very deep conversation with a Vietnam veteran who had many scars and scares, we somehow got on the subject of what “salvation” really means in people’s lives. I asked the question and he answered without hesitation, “For me, salvation is to know that I am known.” WOW!
We spend so much time intellectualizing meaning-filled realities that we miss what is very real in people’s lives. Salvation is a churchy word. “To know that I am known,” is not.
It became clear to me as we talked that what he was getting at is that in a moment of his life he became deeply aware that he was not alone in the universe because he encountered the presence of God in his life. Now I know the word “God” trips up many people. But I will unabashedly confess that while we may never know who God is in the way we “know” things in our real worlds, because God may not be like us, deep down there is a un-rational hunger to know life is not an empty experience; that there is something out there — rational or not — to which we seek to connect to find, if I may, “food for an empty and seeking soul”. My Vietnam Vet friend had come to know he was known — and that, he was clear, was a gift from God.
What about you? If you set aside all the things, issues, causes – whatever — that we look hopefully to find meaning (what I call ‘connect’) — to find an answer to that question we know we ask in our heart but cannot verbalize with our reason — what would you have left? Where would you find that secure sense of meaning in your existence if we lost everything we look to give us groundedness? How do you deal with a desire to know you are known, that you are not alone — that there is meaning to be found in knowing you mean something to the one who put you here in the first place?
I am — this blog is — all about living a life where we are filled from the inside out rather than from the outside in. But to get it, I and you, and all of us together must set aside the givenness of the world we create around us and let the hunger deep down rise to awareness. And then we can say like my friend did —when we too become the recipients of grace — “I now know that I am known.” It’s all in the questions we ask.

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