Epiphany 2: Known

You Have Known MeImage: You Have Known Me © Jan Richardson

Reading from the Psalms for Epiphany 2: Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
– Psalm 139.1

Over the past year, I have been thinking a lot about knowing. Gary’s death left enormous holes in so much of what I had known—about my life, about God, about who I am in this world. As I reckon with the rending of my known world, I am living with a constellation of questions such as these:

Who am I, when the person who has known me best is no longer in this world?

What does it mean to know and be known by someone who now belongs to eternity?

In the midst of my grief, how do I lean into the love of the God who holds us both and knows us beyond the limits of time?

Where does this knowing lead me and call me in this time, this life?

I don’t have many answers for these questions, but as we travel with the readings this week—all of which have to do, in some way, with being known—I have this blessing, offered in the hope that we will never cease to reckon with the challenge, the comfort, and the call of knowing and being known.

Peace to you.

A Blessing

we will need grace.

we will need courage.

we will need
some strength.

We will need
to die a little
to what we have
always thought,
what we have allowed
ourselves to see
of ourselves,
what we have built
our beliefs upon.

We will need this
and more.

we will need
to let it all go
to leave room enough
for the astonishment
that will come
should we be given
a glimpse
of what the Holy One sees
in seeing us,
in knowing us,
and unhidden

no part of us
no piece of us
fashioned from other
than love

beheld entirely
all our days.

– Jan Richardson

For previous reflections for Epiphany 2, click the images or titles below.

How Did You Come to Know Me?
Epiphany 2: How Did You Come to Know Me?

Between Heaven and Earth

Of Fig Trees and Angels

Coming soon!

Beloved Lenten Retreat

Beloved Retreat: Advent and Christmas are barely past, but Lent begins soon! I am looking forward to offering an all-new retreat for the season, and I would love for you to join us. Intertwining reflection, art, and music, the Beloved Retreat is a great way to journey toward Easter from anywhere you are, in the way that fits you best. Registration and more info coming this week. Individual, group, & congregational rates available.

Using Jan’s artwork…
To use the image “You Have Known Me,” please visit this page at janrichardsonimages.com. (This is also available as an art print. After clicking over to the image’s page on the Jan Richardson Images site, just scroll down to the “Purchase as an Art Print” section.) Your use of janrichardsonimages.com helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible. Thank you!

Using Jan’s words…
For worship services and related settings, you are welcome to use Jan’s blessings or other words from this blog without requesting permission. All that’s needed is to acknowledge the source. Please include this info in a credit line: “© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com.” For other uses, visit Copyright Permissions.

12 Responses to “Epiphany 2: Known”

  1. Linda Thomsen Says:

    I really love this, Jan, especially when you “wink” us into the expectation that we may be astonished by a glimpse of the Holy One’s Presence with us.
    Love this ~

  2. Lynda Says:

    So absolutely beautiful. I have sent it to a friend who is undergoing chemotherapy as I type this. There is much that she is grieving and I pray that your deep blessing will bring her some comfort. Thank you so very much.

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      Lynda, thank you! Sending blessings and praying for healing for your friend who is going through chemotherapy. May she be enfolded in comfort and grace.

      Gratitude and blessings to you!

      • Lynda Says:

        Jan, thank you so very much. Chemotherapy is a long journey and it comforts my soul to know that my friend is enfolded in your prayers as well. We are indeed a community. Blessings and prayers for you as well.

  3. Sally Says:

    Thank you, Jan, for the exceeding richness of this image and for your reflection questions. They are true for my life these days and I’ve shied away from really embracing them. It may be time.

  4. Brother Anthony of the Cross Says:

    Jan, we journey on … sometimes on a path that leads to paths now yet unseen.

  5. Karen Says:

    Thank you. This poem goes inside.

  6. Marjun Blishen Says:

    Thank you for this. I know this is true for myself, a longing to be known, a lifetime of seeking. God knows me, what a relief.

  7. Jennie Gordon Says:

    Thank you for the blessing of your words and images

  8. Sue Mannshardt Says:

    Jan — as usual your words speak volumes…I remember everything I have KNOWN these past several years on a different coast in a different home in a different town in a different church…and i wonder what knowing awaits on this coast in this state (NC) in a completely new church including denomination…and I wonder! My prayer and mantra these past several weeks comes from your blessed Advent retreat, “notice what you notice!” I’m drawn to these words…and to your words of blessing above, “let it all go to leave room for the astonishment that comes…” I only hope I notice the astonishment when it comes!

  9. Ruth Says:

    Thanks so much for this Jan. I will use it tomorrow with your permission. (crediting you of course).

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