matesFriendship is one of those funny things.  I’ve always struggled with it, mainly because my experience of it has always been…well, a bit difficult.  I don’t make real friends easy…its not in my make-up.  I don’t easily get to the point where I share the deep things in my heart and mind with another individual.  My closest friend, Tracy, who knows me best of all, would tell you that for sure.  I’m probably a bit enigmatic to her the vast majority of the time!  Sorry darling!

As I reflect over the years, however, there have been some amazing friends along the way. People who have been there thick and thin.  And then there are those who you thought were friends who, when trial comes, disappear and its only when you realised that they are gone from your life that they weren’t really friends much at all.  It hurts a bit, doesn’t it?

The weird person that is me often swings between lonliness and the need for isolation, but all in the context of desiring close human relationships and not always finding them.  It can be a challenging place to be.  The need for close human relationship and the need for space is a fine balancing act which, if you’re not typically an introvert, might seem strange to you.

I’m encouraged in that whilst Jesus interacted with so many thousands of people often in very public ways, we see too someone who needed both his silence and his close friends.  I love his relationship with Peter, James and John.  I love how he felt so at home in Bethany with Mary, Martha and Lazarus, no matter how much he stanketh.  I love his embrace of Judas, to whom he offered to open up his heart and spite of all he know about him.  More than that, I love Jesus interpretation of family…beyond the 2.4, beyond the confines of father, mother, sister and brother, to the place where come to know and connect with all believers united in Jesus.

I love how Jesus is willing too befriend me in the way that is best to me.  I love how he will sit with me for hours and where we can just be.  Where we can share a song, make some art or some other thing.  Sit around the Word together.  Share silence…and even a tear.  I love how he invites me to stop trying to do all the human stuff required to make friends of some other people and how he just allows me to be me.

My prayer for you is that you too will know the freedom to be yourself in his presence.  That grace will meet you and take you by surprise and turn your normal encounters in to spaces of transformation.

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