I recently saw a photograph of Michelangelo’s sculpture Moses, in which a closeup view showed a small bulging muscle on Moses’ right arm. This muscle is the extensor digiti minimi, and the contraction only appears when someone lifts their pinky. Michelangelo, known as a master of intricate details, paid close attention to the human bodies he sculpted, adding intimate features most everyone else would miss. Michelangelo knew the human body in ways few other sculptors have, but the details he carved into granite were his attempts to reveal something deeper—the soul, the interior life of human beings. And of course, there, Michelangelo always fell short.
Only God knows the deepest realities of the human heart. Whatever we see of one another, no matter how attentive or insightful it might be, is only a shadow of the truth. But God sees deeper than the shadows. “You know me, Lord,” the prophet Jeremiah says, “you see me” (12:3). God’s knowledge of us isn’t theoretical or cerebral. He doesn’t observe us from a distance. Rather, He peers into the hidden realities of who we are. God knows the depths of our interior lives, even those things we struggle to understand ourselves.
No matter our struggles or what’s going on in our hearts, God sees us and truly knows us.