Saturday, August 11, 2012


"What grieved them most was the statement that he would never see them again. Then they accompanied him to the ship"- Acts 20:38 ( Paul leaving Ephesus)

..... "Instead I have called you friends" - Jesus as recorded by John 

 Friendship is a strange thing. The idea that our souls would connect with other human beings in such a way is mind boggling. Its something I may never understand, much like why folks think Leno is funny, or how a text message works. I have learned a few things in my thirty wild years of walking the earth. One is that friendship, if one is lucky enough to find it, is worth its weight in gold. Another thing I've learned is that all of us are looking for a soft place to land. 

 A friend of mine took some Latino kids to a Young Life camp recently. As he filled me in on how the trip went he said " A couple of the guys slept a lot in the room and I couldn't figure it out, then it occurred to me that they were sleeping on a mattress, in a bed by themselves, for the first time". I laughed in amazement. Then my friend said "we sell camp a million different ways, but I've never considered selling it with mattresses".  Those guys will look back at Crooked Creek as a place where they slept in a bed, a welcomed respite from the uncomfortable hardness of ordinary life.

 We live in a world more connected than ever. Social media makes "keeping tabs" on someone almost effortless. However, what we find often in a sin soaked world is that community takes hard work, and often times we are not up for the challenge. The vicious irony is that this leaves us longing, hurting, aching for something to be real. It is only in these moments that we can abandon the uncomfortable hardness of a disconnected spiritual life, and fall freely in the mattress of God's grace. We can call ourselves by a lot of names, Sinner. Saint. Screw up. Moron. Ugly. Awesome. Weird. or Goofy. But Jesus calls us friend. The one Being in the universe that had every right to pass over you, has chosen to take you in as his own. 

 While we live in the tension of the "already and not yet" we will see, much like Paul in Ephesus, that sometimes we have to say goodbye. Our hearts shatter as relationships suffer in a broken world. Sometimes the bitter reality of death takes them away, and other times time simply moves them on, but thanks be to God that there is a friendship that is solid. The hand holding you is a nail scarred one, and because He has called us friend we are free to befriend others, with all our warts and scars. We can join the harmony of laughter that takes place every moment amongst the Trinity. We can shed our prickly exteriors, and become for others a soft place to land. 


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