The Dance of Friendship

by Hadley Hustead

 

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have lots of hobbies. God for sure loves baby knitting (Psalm 139:13), restoring hearts (147:3), forgiving His reckless children (1 John 1:9), and for sure landscaping (Psalm 95:5). However, I’m starting to believe that God is especially fond of orchestrating companionship between His children--despite our recklessness. In fact, I am pretty sure all three Persons of the Trinity get especially psyched about friendship. The sacred dance of human relationship is the most intimate and tangible portal we have to our Father’s incomprehensible love. Unfortunately, our brokenness creates a lot of room for error in relationships and we are always getting it wrong.

Scripture maps out a colorful picture of companionship for us. In Colossians 3:12-14 we are told, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

 

In a simpler manner, Proverbs 27:17 offers “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Relationships orchestrated by God are rooted in accountability, humility and kindness. Yet somehow, as Earth dwellers we are indoctrinated to believe friendship is all about utility and pleasure.

 

Enter Jesus. This guy really rocked the boat regarding God’s expectations for human connection. As if His life and death alone were not clear enough instructions on how His children are to care for each other, Jesus left us this banger of a quote that was later recorded in John 15:13-14 “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” Friendship, the way God designed it, occurs when we humbly sacrifice our wellness for the sake of our beloved ones. For me, God’s method of relationship sounds a lot more daunting than the carefree, surface-riding relationships I saw on my Instagram feed this morning.

 

In my twenty-one short years, the Lord has lured me into His dance of friendship a handful of times. He has shown me the beauty and sanctity that transpires from authentic loving relationships is unlike any other human sensation. I am enchanted by the wild and powerful connection that flowers from the reception and donation of selfless compassion.

 

Jesus is a magical companion, because unlike friendship with other humans, Jesus never messes up. His radically personal and sacrificial love is the springboard with which I am able to foster friendship with the people around me. His love also fuels the friendship by which those around me shower me with deeper-than-your-deepest Instagram story type of friendship. This depth of love--of friendship--is not easy to come by.  And when I came by it, I even had difficulty believing that I was worthy. But God, through His love, reminds me that I am indeed worthy.


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