editor’s note :: i’m taking a break this month to work on a new manuscript. some of my closest friends have agreed to fill this space in my absence with their thoughts on bravery and what it means for our faith. you can read the rest of the posts here. today, lore shares her words. I have never felt like a particularly good friend. I move too often, lose addresses and touch with people. If it wasn’t for social media—facebook and twitter—I wouldn’t know what anyone was doing or what they were up to. Social media has a way of letting us deceive ourselves into thinking we’re actually quite good friends. We know what’s going on in one another’s lives, and we feel accomplished in our knowing.
But nothing replaces face to face conversation and last night I sat on a leather couch and listened to a friend say things to me that I said to her not so long ago.
A few years ago we were sitting in her car on a cold, cold night and I confessed my cold, cold heart. It was a tired heart, true, weary from doing and not understanding, weary from expecting and not receiving, weary from loving and not feeling loved. But it was a cold heart, void of joy and emptied of goodness.
God has brought me far from that place, but I remember it well, I remember it closely. I remember the joylessness and void and I praise Him for it every day because now it means friends speak of these things to me and I know how to listen instead of say.
I listened to her for a long time last night.
When you have been surprised by the depth of your heart, when you find that it is not so deep, so full, or so certain as you once felt it once, it is hard to make sense of it. It is difficult to make sense of it emotionally and it is particularly difficult to make sense of it verbally. My friend spoke words, each punctuated by a rushing defense all saying the same thing: I know this doesn’t make sense.
But it does make sense.
And I told her this.
It makes sense because it was not so long ago that the tumbling, senseless words were coming from my own mouth and heart.
I feel like a faithless friend to Him, she said.
She said it over and over again throughout our evening together and so when I was leaving, I opened the door and turned one last time to hug her tightly. “The Bible says even if we are faithless to Him, He remains faithful to us," I said to her, "and that means that Jesus is a perfect friend to you, eclipsing all your lousy attempts to be a good friend to Him. He doesn't need your friendship. So let that go."
His wild and grand and deep love for me exists whether I feel friendship or love for Him. Knowing this sets me free to be a truer friend, because a trusting friend is a true friend—and I trust Him, oh, how I trust Him. I trust Him because my heart has been far, far from Him and He loved me still.
I hug my friend one more time before I leave. It will be a year, at least, before we see one another again, but I don't worry, because I trust this. I trust this friendship, this love, this truth.