“Truly transformational knowledge is always personal, never merely objective. It involves knowing of, not merely knowing about… [and it] is based on experience.”
~ David G. Benner, The Gift of Being Yourself
This is a beautiful sentiment. It inspires us, and we want to share it on social media to get likes for our digital fortune cookie.
But if we truly considered its meaning, we wouldn’t share it.
If we truly chewed on the words, spit then right back out.
Because those of us who know what this cute phrase means have bruises and sprains, scabs and scars, heartaches and heartbreaks.
We don’t know about this quote; we’ve experienced it…
We have the scars to prove it.
We were the ones who needed to touch the stove.
We were the ones who needed to cross the street.
We were the ones that needed to lick the pole in the dead of winter, even though we’ve watched A Christmas Story thousands of times.
We are the ones who have experienced the bite and pull, the heave and haul, and I would argue, we are the ones who carry actual faith, in the deepest and most encompassing sense of the word.
We have faith that our partner will be faithful because we failed them, and they came back.
We have faith that this moment won’t break our family because we’ve endured hell already.
We have faith we won’t give up because we’ve refused to quit when everyone else did.
We were the ones who got a cold because we went out in the rain, even though everyone else said don’t go out in the rain.
But now we know…
And the majority of the world will never experience that kind of knowing, that forged faith, because that’s too scary.
Instead, we’ll sit in our pews and we talk of God, and never question but never truly hold an answer. We’ll cozy up in our cafes and read memoirs and how-tos while never doing the how-tos, content to learn about. We watch movies of bravery and drink in second-hand adventure but never step out the door.
Because what if it rains? Worse. What if it pours?
Instead, we put on our lab coats; we wash our hands; we read the instructions. We live sterile lives, free of mess, free of risk, free of knowing.
In the end, despite my thrashings, despite my stumbling about, I’m grateful for my bruised knees, my sore heart, my wounded pride, my broken spirit…
Because now I KNOW.
I’ve always been the kid who’s had to try every flavor and climb every tree. I’m the adult, who tries on every outfit, and wandered down a dark and lonely street.
I need to know. Not know of. Know.
And if you’re like me, I know your life is full of a lot more hurts and a lot more regrets than the neighbor down the street who has insulated their life behind their white picket fences and 401(k)s. You’ve spilled more blood and cried more tears.
But you now know.
In that light, may we bless our bruises for the lessons they shared. May we kiss our scars for roads we now know are dead ends. May we anoint the aching. May we bow to the breaking. May we honor every pain and pleasure and fear for the knowing, not knowledge, they taught us through screams, claws, and cracks.
In the end, may we call friend. May we call them holy.
For now we know, my fellow bruised-knees. Now we know…