"among my family"
My sister and her family were in town last week, and every time they visit, they try to do some touristy things in Southern California, so that my nephew can enjoy seeing and doing new things.
On this trip, one of the things they did was whale watching. And my daughter went with them, because she's studying Marine Biology in school this year. My brother-in-law took copious pictures of course, because whales and dolphins are beautiful, and my nephew is adorable.
And while I was looking through the pictures, I noticed something fun. Many of them were my nephew looking out at the water, with his back to the camera. Some of those times he was with my daughter, and despite the fact that neither of them were looking at the camera, I knew immediately who they were.
I know their details so well, that even though there were sixty-some-odd people on that boat, I knew these two.
Now, of course, you're saying, "Naturally you recognize those people, because of course your brother-in-law was taking pictures of people you know. Why would he take pictures of strangers?"
But then I show you this one:
See that dolphin? That was the point of my brother-in-law's photo. But there are also four people in the picture. Three of them are strangers to me, and one is related. You don't know which one. I do.
Well, you might know, too, if you're also related. Which a couple of you are.
The point is that those I love, I know. I know them well. I know their voices, their body types, height, etc. I can pick out my boy when he's out on the baseball field with eight other boys, and I know my daughter's walk coming down the hallway.
There's an old Jewish proverb that says that disciples should follow their rabbi so closely, that they would be covered with the dust kicked up by the rabbi's feet. Don't you love the visual there? Don't you love the idea of being so close to Jesus that you know Him at a glance? That you could pick Him out in a crowd?
That's a lot of what reading the Bible does for us. We get to know Him in those pages ~ whether Old or New Testament. Then we recognize His truth when we hear it, and we are conscious of His ever-presence with us.
When I look at those pictures, and see people I'm crazy about, I feel happy inside. I feel love. This is the gift that relationships are for us. This is the same feeling we should have when we remember His love for us, and His nearness. He knows us. We should know Him, too.
~ "the world neither sees him
nor knows Him;
but you know Him,
for He dwells with you
and will be in you" ~