Sunday, September 25, 2011
Looking for Good Friends, We Are!
We celebrated a friend's birthday last night and she exudes joy whenever I see her. Tracy fills a room with her joy and laughter and last night she filled a room with her friends so that they could meet each other and understand how important everyone was to her. That was pretty cool. A great way to celebrate a birthday.
As she told us last night about our importance in her life, I was reminded of C.S. Lewis and the importance he placed on his friends ... all of his friends. This is a quote I have published before here and still continues to mean a lot to me.
“In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out,” Lewis wrote. “By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets. Now that Charles is dead, I shall never again see Ronald’s reaction to a specifically Caroline joke. Far from having more of Ronald, having him ‘to myself’ now that Charles is away, I have less of Ronald. Hence true Friendship is the least jealous of loves. Two friends delight to be joined by a third, and three by a fourth … each bringing out all that is best, wisest, or funniest in all the others.”
Christian History Magazine-Issue 88: C.S. Lewis: Pointing People to Reality. 2005. Carol Stream, IL: Christianity Today.
Tracy was completely herself last night because of those people around her that bring out all her facets and make her shine. She was safe and loved and understood and allowed to be whatever it was she wanted to be.
That's true friendship! That's something we all yearn for and desire from the people with whom we surround ourselves. No judgment, no attempts to fix our small inadequacies or blemishes, no worrying over mistakes we have made (or mistakes we will make).
I didn't intend to go down this path, but as I considered it, that's actually the relationship God wants to have with us. He offers us safety and love and understanding and expects us to be what we want to be. He doesn't really worry over the mistakes we make and will make over and over - He accepts us through those thing. The things we consider to be blemishes and inadequacies, He sees as unique attributes of who we are. His judgment is not about who we are ... but about our rejection of Him.
That relationship is rarely understood by humanity because we work so hard to make it more difficult than it is ... just like we mess with our friendships. It is hard to just relax into a relationship that is safe because we insist on having to work at it, we can't believe that anyone would be able to see past our flaws.
The glory of all this is when we recognize in our friends the ability to make us more than we can be by ourselves and as we add people to that friendship, we become even brighter.
I strive to be the type of friend who loves beyond measure, accepts without reservation, encourages and believe in the people around me. I love my friends. They make me who I am, they offer me parts of themselves to ensure that I am complete. What about you?