To Know

Gabriel, to whom her face was as the uncertain glory of an April day, ever regardful of its faintest change, instantly discerned thereon the make of some influence from without in the form of a keenly self-conscious reddening. He also turned, and beheld Boldwood.

Far from the Madding Crowd p. 107

To know another so well—it is the mark of the lover. And in quoting from The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Harding imbues here the uncertainty Proteus feels. But even here, Gabriel is aware of the smallness of his chances. And yet he knows Bathsheba far better than her other suitors—maybe even better than she knows herself. I am reminded of Audrey Assad’s song, “Know”:

And as a lover knows his beloved’s heart
All the shapes and curves of her even in the dark
Oh, You have formed me in my inward parts
And You know me, You know me.

For there is one that knows all and knows best. Bathsheba cannot hide the inner workings of her emotions from Gabriel, nor can we hide the inner thoughts and secret musings from God. And still—despite that knowledge—he sent Christ for us. 

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