“Take my love,
for love is everlasting.
And remember the truth that once was spoken;
to love another person
is to see the face of God.
~ From Les Miserables
Friendship and love are pretty much identical twins. You can’t find one without the other. And it’s very hard to tell the two apart.
A quick glance at this happy pair, you’ll find their features quite striking —
* You can pick the target of your affection, but the other still has to choose you back.
* The beginning requires risk and effort.
* Secrets are shared and the unspoken is protected.
* Though both hold painful memories and bitter losses, they remain coveted riches for affected hearts.
There was a time I felt finding and keeping friendship was as capricious as dating a dark handsome stranger I had just met.
Friendship is A Lot Like Dating
Making friends is a lot like dating, don’t you think? There’s always the rush of finding compatibilities, a generous swapping of stories, and crazy talk of places to enjoy together.
Sooner or later, something unravels. Seems like once things become familiar, a slow distancing slips in and cools things off. Sometimes friendships end like abrupt breakups. Other times, it’s a slow sputtering of flattened conversations.
But, among the friendships that come and go, there are some that change our lives, marking our seasons.
Double Rainbows and Messy Messes
Friends like these are double rainbows caught after a crazy storm threatens to wash you out. They could be that one last gas station you thank God for, as your oil tank dips past empty. Friends of this sort offer comfort, refuge, and beauty that fills our hearts back to full.
Some friends are like orange sherbet. Pure refreshment. A friend who you can celebrate the best and brightest shouts of triumphs — like the sun-burned cheeked friend you once jumped through the sprinklers with and drank sticky lemonade down your chin, on that record hot day.
And then, there are the rare ones who you drag your ugly mess of a self to. They’ll give you space. No curing, no healing. They are there to quietly face into the reality of everything that is blowing up around and inside you.
One Faithful Friend
There is that One Faithful Friend, who stands behind us, all the way down, to carry our crosses.
Friendship isn’t simply a human affection.
It is a sacred devotion.
Jesus called us friends —
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” ~ Jesus (John 15:13)
A Spiritual Preoccupation
Each time we extend our hand of friendship to another, we engage in a spiritual preoccupation — to love one another.
The keys to friendship are the same ones we unlock for love — guts and courage.
It is a dangerous and risky endeavor — this sacred devotion — to say hello, laugh, forgive, hang on, and in some cases, let go. Friendship continues to be the door that opens to the exquisite homecoming of becoming loved and being known.
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” Jude 1:24
“A true friend is the person in whose light we shine the brightest.” Keely Chace
What are the connections you find between love and friendship?
Do you find friendships easy or hard?
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This really touched me where I am right now. Friendships are truly blessings from God and chances to be used and touched by the Divine in our lives. Thanks for sharing!
It’s God in the flesh in our today…
“Friendship isn’t simply a human affection.
It is a sacred devotion.”>> I love that!
I am so blessed to be able to call Him friend and to know He does the same…Friendship is like dating- It can be awkward, exciting, and complicated>> sometimes my friendship with God feels the same way. But it is worth every valley and mountain.
.-= Jennifer Adams´s last blog ..Hello Saturday Morning =-.
“Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough…” Sing it, baby! 😉
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The whole time I was reading this, I couldn’t help but think of the guy-to-guy friendship to relationship connection. It’s funny, awkward, and true that the love relationship connection exists in a guy-to-guy friendship.
Going out on your first dude-date to see Ninja Assassins at the theater, getting a cup of coffee together, waiting for him to call, getting ready to go play a game of basketball…
haha! You can find love in a lot of places. The least admitted to is the guy-to-guy friendship relationship.
Kudos on the Les Miserables quote.
ok I feel like I should go use power tools or lift weights right now. 🙂
.-= brett barner´s last blog ..Eulogy =-.
You are THE MAN, Brett! It’s not by coincidence that bromances make runaway flick hits. Jesus, by the way, was the ultimate bromancer with 12 in his posse.
For the most part I find friendships hard. Those friendships where I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable and ended up getting burned have impacted my willingness to try again. I have a few close friends, in relationship not distance. Plus, I convince myself that I’m so busy with my husband and children that I don’t have time to cultivate new friendships…but really I’m scared. What you said about friendship being like dating really has changed something in how I think about that relationship. In my mariage I battle through the conflicts and tensions. I intentionally work to keep the relationship fresh and interesting. I don’t do that in my friendships…when things cool off or break I justify that it must have been a “for a season” friendship. Thank you for sharing this…now it’s time for me to go live it out.
.-= Melissa Brotherton´s last blog ..Where Can I Get Spiritual Cosmetic Surgery? =-.
Friendships ARE hard. It can’t be overstated. Hallmark can make it seem otherwise. Keeping things new and fresh, even when friendships get stuck in the mud are winning parts of the battle.
I like the phrase you coin…friendship as a spiritual preocupation
.-= Kathleen Overby´s last blog ..Life Without Linchpins =-.
Friendship as spiritual preoccupation is an invisible activity of heaven. BTW, loved the poem in “Life Without Linchpins”.
Amen- excellent thoughts! Thanks Bonnie.
.-= jasonS´s last blog ..Book Giveaway: Mad Church Disease =-.
I’m truly touched by this friendship blog… It’s a very nice article, Bonnie! ^^
John O’Donohue wrote a lovely blessing about friendship. Its last lines, the most significant, I think, are:
“May you never be isolated but know the embrace / Of you anam cara.”
Anam cara means “soul friend”.
How can we not love those who reflect back to us our soul.
.-= Maureen (Mo)´s last blog ..Wednesday Wonder: Contemporary Art of India =-.
Thank you for “anam cara”.
This post moves me, Bonnie. It’s everything I believe and know about friendship, staring back at me on my computer screen. Like marriage, friendship often takes work, but it is worth every bit of it. Every single bit. Thanks for this!
.-= deidra´s last blog ..Giving Up? =-.
It is worth it!
I really like this blog, Bonnie! 🙂 It’s so true about friendships. I’m in a season where I’m meeting lots of new friends, and it’s sifting season already with knowing how to choose wisely the ones who will sing my heart song back to me, and with whom I can simply share a common table at the cafeteria. It’s obvious that space and grace are important measures in knowing friends of the heart vs. friends of the road. I am so thankful that Jesus Christ is all to me: He is my Life, He is my Way, He is my Truth! My most trustworthy friend, indeed!
.-= Christine´s last blog ..Transformed by Truth and Love =-.
Your step of faith to pursue the love God put in your heart is inspiring. I hope more friends will come to share in your journey.
Oh dear, I hope not, cuz I am NOT so good in the dating department…. Don’t have that good of a record. lol
.-= Maureen´s last blog ..Finding a Needle in a Haystack =-.
By nature, I’m very friendly. I make friends with store clerks, other employees at work, neighbors, etc. It’s actually very easy. All you have to do is care about them and ask a few questions. People are always looking for someone that will listen to them or encourage them.
But at the same time, while living in California for the last eight and half years, I have no real friends. No one who I can call up and ask to go have coffee with me at Starbucks. No one I can talk to about things I care about.
Sounds ridiculous, huh? A friendly person with no friends.
Yet, I can honestly say that during this desert experience without friends I have learned to care about others much more than I did. I have learned to listen and value each person almost as if they were a treasure.
So, in answer to your question of whether I find friendships easy or hard? I don’t know the answer for myself anymore, but I do believe that friendships are to be esteemed as more valuable than gold.
.-= Larry Who´s last blog ..Why All The Outrage To Pat Robertson’s Remarks About Haiti? (Part 6) =-.
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