April 26, 2019

365 Days of the Great Names of God, Day 147: Friend


"But when the Son of Man came, he ate and drank as you do. And you say, 'This fellow is always eating and drinking far too much. He's a friend of tax collectors and 'sinners.''" (Luke 7:34 NIRV)

My daughters spent Easter weekend this year in Florida with their grandparents. It was a quick trip, but it was worth it. They'd both wanted to go down over their spring breaks, but now that my older daughter is in college, those breaks no longer line up. I kept suggesting other lovely friends they could take along, but they both kept saying the same thing: "I just want Sissy." 

There's nothing quite like a friend who is also your sister, because you know that no matter how annoyed you might get with each other or how much "too much togetherness" you might have, your relationship with them is written in blood or, sometimes, in the ink of adoption papers that declare you to be family forever.

Once upon a time, God looked at us and said, "I want them." And so He asked His Son, "Will you go down and get them for me?" And Jesus said, "Yes." He came as Emmanuel and King and Redeemer but also as Friend...a
 Friend whose relationship to us is written in His blood.

"Friendship," wrote C.S. Lewis, "is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'"

Jesus can be and is this kind of Friend because He walked Earth's streets as a man, feeling what men and women feel, hurting the way we hurt, needing what we need, wanting what we want.

And so when we tell this Friend, "I'm lonely," He says to us, "I know. I was, too. I understand."

When we tell this Friend, "I've been betrayed," He says to us, "I know. I was, too. I understand."

When we tell this Friend, "I've been hurt," He says to us, "I know. I was, too. I understand."

Sometimes, friends wear split-heart necklaces to show their connection, each of them with an incomplete half made whole by the other. This is how our hearts are, too: incomplete without Jesus...a Friend who allowed His heart to be split so that ours could be made whole.

"Jesus! What a Friend for sinners!
Jesus! Lover of my soul!
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Savior, makes me whole.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Hallelujah! What a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end."

(From "Our Great Savior;" words by J. Wilbur Chapman, music by Rowland H. Prichard, arranged by Robert Harkness; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kiv1FozVY-s.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year-old that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!