“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” ~ Thomas Aquinas
Friends are very important to us. We are “social animals” and we know the value of friendship. We know that we are at a loss without friends. Just recently, a study was published that concluded that the worst kind of breakup that anybody could experience was the breakup of a close friend. The pain involved with that was worse, the study claimed, than the breakup of a marriage or the loss of a job. Friends are what keep us going. They give us a reason to be. In many ways, they define us.
God knows that about us. That is one of the reasons why God wants to be friends. Not just friends; but, best friends. We feel the friendship of God when we develop a deep spiritual life. We feel that closeness and look forward to the time we spend with Him. When some of the great saints have spoken about the dark night of the soul, they spoke about feeling as if their friend had left them abandoned. You can practically hear that in Jesus’ call from the cross, “My God, my God, why hast though forsaken me?” The perceived loss of a friend is heartbreaking.
We know this intuitively and often use that in trying to control others. Child are quite proficient at this as they begin their interactions with the world. They develop not friendships, but, acquaintances. They say that they will become friends with someone “if”: if the person does what is expected, if the person gives up something, if the person aquiesces to the will of the group, et cetera.
God doesn’t play those games with us. He simply says, “I want to be your friend. I want to be your best friend. I promise that I will always stand by you. I promise that I will love you unconditionally. I promise that I will always forgive the repentant heart. I promise with my very life that I will do so.” And, to prove His point, He laid down His life on the cross.
A friend like that can make everything in our life worth living. A friend like that sets the pattern for our own earthly friendships. A friend like that bursts with pride when we do what He would do.
FAITH ACTION: Do not hesitate to be someone’s friend today.