What a gift we have in friendship

This past weekend, my husband and I caught a few hours in Washington, D.C. with long-time friends from Chicago. When we stopped for dinner, the waiter at our table asked what had brought us to our nation’s capital.

“Friendship,” one of us replied.

A surprised look crossed the young man’s face. “That’s a first for me,” he said.

holding_piece_to_heart_pc_4831Truth be told, while not a first for us, the reply is one that these dear friends and we give far too seldom. Demanding careers, the weight of family responsibilities, and wide-ranging volunteer commitments leave us little time for friendship.

And that’s too bad, so sad.

Not just that all work and no play makes us dull boys and girls, but it’s bad and sad because friendship is important, indeed essential, to the well-being of our souls.

FRIENDSHIP AS THE CHRIST LIGHT

In an essay titled “A School of Christian Love,” theologian Paul Wadell writes that

When we look back over our lives we realize what a precious gift certain friendships have been to us and how incomparably blessed we are because of them. Christians should especially prize friendships because they recognize in them the potential to be schools of love, settings in which we encounter Christ in one another and gradually learn from one another how to grow resplendent in the goodness and holiness of God. This may not be how we customarily think about friendships. but it is certainly a very promising and inviting way because it suggests that a strong love for our friends does not detract from our love for God, but is precisely the setting in which we come to learn what loving God rightly means. For Christians, this is the secret of friendship’s great intimacy and the clearest explanation of its joy.

What an amazing gift we have in friendship. I praise God for friends through whom I’ve seen Christ and for time to enjoy the miracles they are to me.

For another essay on friendship, see:

Friendship, vocation, and staying the course

What's your take on this topic?

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