My husband and I recently (he more than I) binge watched the entire series of Cheers. I love how everytime one of the main cast members walked into that bar everyone said: “Hey, Norm/Cliff/Woody/Frasier/etc.”
One day, I want to have a place like that. A place where I walk in and they ask me if I want “the usual.” Except it would be a coffee shop. Because coffee, obviously.
Walking in and being recognized, having your wants known before you speak a word, it fills our need to be known and loved.
I love this quote by Timothy Keller on this topic:
To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.
As I thought about my life, about how I love my people, I realized the powerful truth in that statement. The way I love my big kids, even when they’re at their very most UNloveable is a testament to this truth and the way they test that love … gah! It can be exhausting, but it always holds firm. The way my husband loves me when I am cranky and behind on laundry and eating Whole30 bears witness to our need to be fully known and loved and what happens when we’re ensconced in that kind of love.
As I thought about how we’re commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves in comparison with that quote above, I saw it in a whole new way. That implies knowing them. Not just the casual, in passing, kind of knowing them, but being able to anticipate their needs before they speak them. That kind of knowing means that we desire to spend time with them, we make sacrifices on their behalf and we allow the masks to fall away from our face, from our lives.
Ouch. There aren’t very many people that make it onto my list for receiving that kind of love, y’all.
That’s what I wrote about at Middle Places, so I would love if you’d stop by and check it out.