07 March 2012

The honesty of a friend

I received an email from a friend this morning.  Not an acquaintance, not someone who drifts about the fringes of my life, but someone who is willing to dive in deep with me into the things of God.

She was in the middle of a lenten exercise and wrote:

Today's challenge is to ask a few good friends what it is that they think makes me unique... gifts...talents... strengths... weaknesses
I prayed and I pondered and I emailed her my thoughts.  I also asked if she would answer the same about me.  I share her reply here as a demonstration of true friendship:
What I see is someone who walks in integrity...
Someone who truly loves the Lord her God for who He is, rather than merely for what He does for her... Wanting His fellowship as opposed to merely the gifts that often times come along with it.  
I see someone whose heart is broken by the things that break His... Hungry children for one thing... Hypocricy within the church for another... And who takes seriously the great commission to, "Go and make disciples."

I see someone who also does not take herself too terribly seriously, who knows that while there is a time to be serious, it is a good and Godly thing to be able to laugh, even at herself.
On the other hand, I also see someone who is still reeling a bit from the hurt she has experienced in past church situations, and who, quite honestly, isn't yet past it... Someone from whose's heart still occasionally leaks that odd hurtful word, NOT intentionally, but instead, simply because it is still raw, still in need of healing. And there probably isn't all that much you can do about that either, except to be aware of it, and keep it before the Lord in prayer, waiting for Him to do what He needs to in order to bring that healing about in His perfect way and time
Perhaps many would offer the opening words of support.  I was pleased to see that my love for God and my heart for His hurts were clearly displayed.  It was, however, as I continued reading, down to the "on the other hand" that I felt truly known.

Wounds from a sincere friend  are better than many kisses from an enemy
Proverbs 27:6 NLT

Yes, life among others can be hard. Yes, hearts can be broken and raw. And the walk through healing can seem to take an impossibly long time.

Today I want to celebrate the God Who does the miraculous, the One Who provides us the opportunity to learn to love each other in the same way He loves us.


 Rejoicing today with Jennifer in how extraordinary Is our God.
  

3 comments:

Nikole Hahn said...

"Someone who truly loves the Lord her God for who He is, rather than merely for what He does for her... Wanting His fellowship as opposed to merely the gifts that often times come along with it." Beautiful! I can't tell from your blog that you've been hurt in church. Thoughtful touch on the bottom from a true friend.

Sandra Heska King said...

So this is a little God bump. The "on the other hand" phrase. Lois Tverberg, the author of Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus, talked about this just last night and has a chapter devoted to it in her book called "Thinking with Both Hands."

I love how your friend knows you.

Jennifer @ GettingDownWithJesus.com said...

What a gift to have a friend who really sees you and then loves you enough to tell you what she sees. I suspect you are that same kind of friend. Really glad you linked.

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