The Not Yet

Sometimes I wonder at how fundamentally alone we all are.

I have a caring family, wonderful friends, people who get me. And yet, at the end of the day, it’s just me in my head. Never mind the walls of calculated self-presentation I build — there is a chasm even those who see through all my crap can’t cross. Sometimes, despite a history of smiles and tears and shared experiences, I just can’t get you to see what I mean. We talk past each other. We misunderstand. And I wonder why.

The misunderstandings happen. We talk through them, and we get over it. It’s normal. But still, I wonder why. Why, when our deepest longings point us toward relationship, do we sometimes feel so very disconnected? Why, when we’re seeking to clarify, do we unwittingly obscure? Why do we hurt others unknowingly? Why are there some things we can just never quite say?

To be human is to be misunderstood. To know the slipperiness of words. To feel there are places in me only I can go, and to realize that, really, I will never fully understand you. The shadowy mystery of other remains intact, despite our best attempts to see one another clearly. There’s beauty in this mystery, yes — but sometimes, sometimes the beauty gives way to the stark realization that we are alone. Something is terribly broken.

And yet, there is One to whom I am not a mystery. The One of whom the psalmist wrote: You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely (Psalm 139:1-4).

He knows my words completely. He does not misunderstand. He knows my inmost being. And what’s more, He beckons me to know Him. In my brokenness, I find this hard to believe, for I know so little of Him. And I wonder, how long will I live in these shadowlands? How long until I know fully, even as I am fully known?

Then I remember: this is Act IV. Though the climax has come, though we see threads that lead to resolution, the story isn’t over. All is not yet revealed. We are still broken and disconnected, but even now He is mending and healing, and soon all will be well. Soon alone will be a fiction, and clarity will replace misunderstanding. Soon I will be able to say exactly what I mean. But not yet.


Written with: The Civil Wars, Sleepytime Tea, low lamplight. 


  1. Anthony - September 26, 2012 @ 8:49 am

    And again. Wonderfully beautiful words.

    – cheers.

  2. Lisa - September 26, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

    I want to acknowledge how beautiful and perfect this is but can’t find the words… Which i guess acknowledges how beautiful and perfect this is.

  3. Kelcie - September 26, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

    ERIN. “Soon alone will be a fiction…” Wow. What beautiful and haunting insight into our human state. Miss you.

    • Erin - September 27, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

      This would’ve been a great conversation to have with you. Miss you too!

  4. amy - September 27, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

    :) that’s all i’ve got.

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