Personal Knowledge

Image - work by Mary Cassatt

What are you thinking?
“Maternal Kiss,” Mary Cassatt

This seems so basic that it’s one of those things “everybody knows” – and yet, sometimes I’m taken by surprise by things “everybody knows.”

When we know someone, or are getting to know someone, presumably there are things we can know about the person that stay the same, because the person stays the same over time; and then, there are things we learn about a person that change what we know about them, because the person changes over time – goes through new experiences, develops new characteristics, adopts new relationships or statuses, etc.; and then, there are things we learn about a person that change, not because they have changed, but because we come to know them better, and realize that they have always been this way or that way. And then there are things we know about a person that change because we change, more or less independently of the other person – so that what we took to be cute and clever, for instance, now seems to us … less that way, or what we took to be unbearable now seems quaint and harmless, or we tell the person’s story differently to ourselves than we used to, and so on.

Presumably this also goes for God, or “our understanding of God” if you prefer.


About HAT

Heather Thiessen (HAT) is a happily married 60-ish, Bible-reading, Presbyterian Church Sunday School teaching and choir singing, small fuel efficient car driving, still pretty much 2nd wave feminist and generally out lesbian Hoosier mom. (There are no monochrome states.) From time to time she teaches religious studies to students at a small liberal arts college in Louisville, Kentucky.
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