I can’t think of too many things more precious than a childhood best friend. You know the kind. We stick together no matter what. She is the best friend forever kind of friend and the one we can always count on to be knocking on our door ready for the next days adventure. Nothing is too sacred that it could not be shared, and every plan made had to include this best friend forever.
If we are lucky, we go through quite a few years together; growing, learning, creating playful moments and sharing secrets. This friend knew our first crush, our favorite ice cream flavor and we knew hers. It’s priceless, innocent, and there is no reason to question if she cared if we were hurt or not because she always cared. It’s a child like innocent friendship the way God intended friendships to be. We trusted because there was never a reason given not to trust. It was unspoken that we guarded one another.
They were more simple days back then, you know, childhood. Then we grow up and make things complicated. We experience more rejection, the harshness of he world, and also begin to move forward into what “life expects us to produce”. We are meant to couple, to marry, to have kids, create a home, find a career, finish college, and the list goes on. Sometimes we part. Not because we wanted to but because we had to. Sometimes we remain friends but life makes it more complicated. I’m not sure why it has to be that way but it happens.
Jesus taught us that there is no greater love than to lay ones life down for a friend. He’s a great teacher, isn’t He? I feel like that type of love is becoming more rare though. We are less child like in spirit, more complicated in emotion, and scarred from a world that can be harsh and unforgiving. The “laying down ones life” type of friendship tends to go out the window and can tend to be replaced by a more superficial kind because we just don’t have time for more in our lives. Technology, social media, and so many other things opt into our circumstances and before we know it everything is superficial.
It’s not how God intended it though. He intended friendships to be those that sharpen each other. Iron sharpens iron. We are supposed to lift one another up like those old childhood days when there was no doubt that the other would have our back when things were hard. I wish I could add to Jesus’ teaching and say that there is no greater love than to lay down ones life for a friend; and we are all friends. It can’t be true in this world though. We can’t all be friends. Life has become more innovated but more complicated. Our ease is almost like an illusion that makes me often long for the good old days when a person’s word was their word and a promise was not broken.
At the risk of rambling a bit more, I will get to my point. I’m finding that personal connection with those we call our friends is becoming more and more rare. Maybe its just me. I can’t say. I do know one thing though. I would much rather talk to someone’s voice than to see their fake smiley face on my phone or computer any day of the week.
Pastor Jenine Marie Howry