When it comes to technological devices, I’m never among the first wave of early adopters. In most instances, I’ll come around eventually but it may take a while. That’s the case for customized ringtones. So when I recently decided I wanted a special alert for when my husband calls me, I searched to find the perfect one.
There are endless choices in the iTunes store, but I finally landed on the song “I Just Called to Say I Love You” by Stevie Wonder. Though my husband rarely calls just to “say I love you,” I liked the overall theme, if not the accuracy and applicability of the lyrics.
Why would I want to know who’s calling just by the sound of the ringtone? Wouldn’t it only take a second of reading the screen to see who’s on the other line? His ringtone was especially chosen just for him. It’s uplifting to hear the distinct voice (Stevie Wonder’s) and thereby know it’s my husband calling.
In John 10, we read that the sheep know the shepherd by his voice. They won’t follow anyone else but their shepherd. The sheep see this man as someone they can trust, someone who knows them all by name.
We all desire to be known. We post on Facebook and tweet on Twitter and blog on blogs. We may control the content of the information but there’s a part of us that wishes for others—or at least one intimate friend—to not just know us but to know-know us.
I work hard to know-know the most important people in my life. I know one of my daughters needs lots of space and she doesn’t like people to touch her hair. My other daughter is the opposite; she has a minimum required number of hugs I must fill everyday. My son is an early riser, constantly in motion. He plays with the drawstrings on his shorts when he’s deep in concentration on the soccer field.
But I want my children to know they are not only known by me and their dad, but also known by God. Psalm 139 says, “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me…Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.”
If you continue to read John 10 and Christ’s description of the Good Shepherd, you see that the shepherd is willing to lay down his life—his actual body—in the way of a hungry wolf. The one who knows his sheep inside and out is the one willing to die for them.