Friday, April 18, 2014

Handing Over That Friendship

A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; / he who finds one finds a treasure. / A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth. / A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds; / for he who fears God behaves accordingly, / and his friend will be like himself.
(Sirach 6:14-17)

Two years ago, liturgically speaking, I handed over my life in a way I did not and could not have comprehended at the time. I acted in obedience to what I discerned was a prompting of the Holy Spirit -- an important one -- and it has been one crazy ride.

Mostly the crazy has subsided. But when I mash that with the Scripture above, well, I recognize important things.

It is true that a faithful friend is a life-saving remedy. It is also true that friendship gone wonky is probably the most Good Friday-esque thing I know. There are many, many things about which I have sort of a natural detachment. I just can't get too bothered by certain things at all. But I have rich potential for bother when it comes to relationships with people. I think that is why God has taught me, has been trying to teach me for decades, that I need to see all people in my life as coming from Him and all relationships belonging to Him. Not to me.

The treasure of friendship I can embrace, but I acknowledge that it comes from God. He proves Himself faithful, though, because never ever has He left me high and dry. He knows exactly which people to introduce into my life. And yet, at the same time, I have to acknowledge that the very, very real relationship that God wants as my top priority is the one I have with Him. That really is the only way anything works smoothly with other people. Well, perhaps that is a deceptive statement. Sometimes for things to go right with others there needs to be a degree of bumpiness. It is needed to the degree that sin and self clog the way and need to be purged. I had so much junk that had to go, in reference to two years ago. We all do, and we seem to grow new crops of it all the time. Sometimes the desire to "keep peace" and to ignore our junk and that of others is exactly what destroys holiness in relationships.

For me to trust God with this handing over of myself to Him, which involved an irrevocable change in a friendship I treasured, has also irrevocably changed my life and my relationship with God. I would be a blind fool to not realize it has been a change for the better, precisely because it has been so Good Friday-esque. The power of the resurrection already percolates, and I believe God intends more than just my interior life to be affected as a result. All I know for sure is I can never accurately anticipate what God decides to do.

But I don't have to have anything figured out ahead of time. I just need to be ready with my Yes when He beckons.

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