Sunday, February 2, 2014
I love how I have so many different friendships with so many wonderful, unique people and somehow they all connect to me without connecting to each other. It is such a "wow" moment to realize how diverse my friends really are... I have my childhood friends, my school friends, my church friends, my friary friends, my mission-trip friends...there are my sister friends, my best friends, my work friends, my friends-from-work-but-also-friends-outside-of-work friends, my married friends, my single friends, my friends of my family friends, I even have friends of my friends family friends, I have my pilgrimage friends, I have my friends in other countries, I have my friends in other states....well really it just goes on and on...and these friendships just seem to keep growing the more I age like the ripples in a pond.
I think when I was young I had the idea that: 1) Everyone had to like me and 2) I needed to be everyone's best friend. As I've matured, I've come to realize there are SO MANY TYPES of friendships. There are best friends, lifetime friends, time-in-life friends, and mutual interest friends. There are spiritual friends, material friends, and superficial friends (who want to know you because you're "cool" or important in some way). There are friendships that wax and wane and others that seem to only improve with time like good wine.
I think the one common thread that I find running through all of my friendships is spiritual: these friendships come from God. It's when He isn't present that these friendships fall apart or go naturally to the wayside. Even in the absence of a frank acknowledgement of His presence, whenever virtue is practiced or love displayed, He is there.
I've also learned that I CAN be friendly to ALL but I do not HAVE to be friends with ALL. This is important because in friendship there are certain obligations. You make a commitment when you become friends...to what? To care, of course. The closer the friend, the more involved your obligation to care is. Normally this is not a heavy burden but rather a joy!
I know that my closest and best friendships have God at the center. Someone (was it CS Lewis?) once said friendship is that moment when we discover, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one!" The people that I am the closest friends with have shared that moment with me: "What? You love God too? I thought I was the only one!"
Next I will reflect on the corollary to friendship: love and I-thou relationships (don't worry, it will be short!)