Over the last few years, i have really started noticing and observing the wonders of communication, or the failure of it. it is fascinating in its scope and power. In my eyes, it seems we all are frightened nearly to death that our words, our actions, and even our very personhood will fail to survive the multiple twists and turns required for us to share who we are with another human being.
beginning from the naked soul, we send pieces of ourselves trembling first through the vehicle of our bodies, then across the minefields of culture, through filters of experiences and backgrounds, over wastelands of assumptions and judgments… finally to enter into the eardrums and eye sockets of another human being. a person. who has their own set of fears and learned reactions from their own journey to that moment.
how precise is this? how close does another human being’s interpretation of us and our intentions resemble that first birth in the raw soul?
what was once an intention of our heart, an invisible and trapped idea, is able to enter another person’s space after a harried journey from ours. soul can meet soul, but how many lenses skew the vision in between?
we wrap up these messages to each other with elation at the opportunity to be known, to be understood, to be seen by another. yet, in our excitement to send them radiating from ourselves, there is a significant possibility that the true self we experience ourselves being will not make it safely to the other side. there is a profound fear that lurks within each motion and word; a fear that our terrors echo and our insecurities model: what if this, this piece of me, this reflection of my soul, gets damaged along the way? will it reach this person while still resembling, at least somewhat, the original essence? there are so many mountains and valleys and seas to cross for every thought or intention; so many twists and turns these representations must handle in order to finally register in another’s perception.
is that just me? my own thoughts? is this my own fantastic notion, foreign to you? because i see rejection, and i feel failure of communication. i see it. i feel it. i live that reality and do not doubt that i will continue to live that. the brokenness of my soul multiplies with the brokenness of the space my soul moves in and the brokenness of those around me. the end result is inevitable – there will be a failure to be known perfectly by these people surrounding me, whoever they may be and however good they may be at interpersonal communications. the limits stand.
“for now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
this verse is primarily about us and God. but i think there is truth in it for our relationships both outside and within the body of Christ. we see each other only as a reflection. when all is restored, when all is made new, the walls that inhibit community with each other will be gone.
yet for now, in all my frustrations with poor communication, the question needs to stop being about my fears of whether i am worthy to be known. it is one thing to face a need to communicate better. it is another to doubt the essence of who i am and place the burden of self-change on myself. because i tend to do that. a lot. and the weight seems fine… for the first day or so. depends how long i can numb my senses. but once i try to take a step, or forget the distractions needed to draw my mind away from the impossibility of the task i have taken on, i crash. and burn. and am forced to remember that it is nothing of myself that can cause change.
i must first place my hope in knowing that i am known. now. in an imperfect, foggy-mirrored world, i am known.
perfectly, without a single separating filter.
and this by a God who doesn’t need me to communicate it to him. the space needing traveled, is already done so.
it has been finished for me.
and oh, the JOY of serving a King who has known all about me, everything, from the very beginning… and has not turned away!
Lord, i am so very, very grateful… that i do not have to try, and fail, to communicate my heart with you. i am so very, very glad… that you already know, yet take pleasure in me talking it over with you.
WE ARE KNOWN. AND WE ARE DESPERATELY LOVED.
from this truth, there is freedom. to converse with others and send the soul pieces flying across time and space, without the pressure of needing complete knownness from a mere human, who could never comprehend the depths of your soul.
only He can. and only He does.