Friendship: Proverbs 18:24
New American Standard Bible
A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
My first experience with risking raw and real did not come until well into my adulthood. God is always right on time, but sometimes we wish He might hurry things along. . .What I’m going to say here, I never thought I would say. . .It’s worth the wait.
As best I can re-create it in words: Here’s how it went for me:
Ten, twenty, thirty, forty years when a safe, authentic God-friend comes through your heart door and with developed trust, you put something tender and vulnerable out on the table. Then you close your eyes, hold your breath and you wait. . .expecting to hear the door close and to see them running for the hills. . .
You sneak a peek and he or she is still there. Okay, shallow breathing and then eyes wide with wonder, for the friend leans in slightly and simply says, “Would you be willing to tell me more about that?”
“Well, I have separation anxiety after you leave. It’s like I can’t get enough “girl time.” (Now, I’m convinced I am not and will never be normal :() (“NORMAL” is a setting on a washing machine, just who am I kidding?)
It took time for me to settle into that space. Minutes to respond but months to believe such a life-giving dynamic exists in friendships. After a few “dry runs” with this kind of authenticity, you may find like I did, that doubt rises like yeast in my thought life. . .
“She will think I’m crazy.” OR “That just slipped out.” “He will think less of me now.” “Is this person really trustworthy with even one, small piece of the real me?” “What is rejection gonna look like this time?”
The discerning friend calls to touch base the next day. “So, how are we?” “You tell me?” is my sheepish response. “I take your trust very seriously,” she says quietly. And then in a crazy moment of courage, I ask (I remember exactly which intersection, a red light in my suburban), “Do you think less of me???” (Oh, I’ve done it now :()
She gives space for God to enter first with a thoughtful pause: “I think more of you, because I see victory over your humanity. It’s a cool time to know you in God’s workings in your life.” (Yes, I pulled through the intersection and had to park the car.) This is too good to be true. “Really?” “Yes, really and your friendship is a privilege and an honor.”
I pondered the possible. I pondered communion between friends. I pondered this new sacred space that promoted healing. Something in me changed that day. As in forever changed in my heart life. I was a bit more whole in His Hands because of unconditional love. I remember thinking, Wow! This Kingdom stuff really works. A huge smile spread across my face.
Ponderings that God used to prime the friendship pump and the Divinity pump and the women’s ministry pump and the pure heart pump and the prayer pump. . .Pumps that are Posts to come 🙂 To be continued. . .