“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”” C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
This very statement, I believe, sheds light on the reason it is often so hard to become a friend of God. Sure, we can truly see ourselves as His daughters (or sons, respectively), His children, His servants and even, for those who really struggle with their place in Christ, His little, lowly followers who are just happy that He doesn’t decide to squash them today! However, sometimes, to see ourselves as His friend, it takes much more than just a quaint little understanding of who He is.
Maybe I’m the only one who has struggled with this…
You see, for me, friendships don’t come that easy, not those kind of friendships that really last, those kind of friendships that are more like blood-kinships, family-types. It’s not because I’m not a friendly person; you can ask anyone who knows me, I may be shy, but I can meet and greet with plenty, and it’s not that I don’t want to have friends. I have tons of people who are great acquaintances, wonderful “friends” with whom I converse during the week, say “Hi” to on Sunday and even hang out with from time to time. These are great and wonderful people, people for whom I care deeply and love immensely. These are definitely friends of mine.
However, these aren’t the friendships to which I’m referring. I’m talking about those people for whom you know without a shadow of a doubt that you’d give your life, those to whom you are comfortable sharing the innermost depths of your heart, never afraid of what they might think once you’re finished, those friends who see you at your very worst and your very best and have loved you regardless of what you’ve said or done at both ends of that spectrum. They are people with whom you have a common bond, a covenant and a kinship of spirit which cannot be broken by circumstances, other people or even your own fears and doubts. These are the kind of friends I’m talking about here, and this kind of friendship is very rare.
Many times, when I look at Jesus, I see a King. I see my Heavenly Father. I see the Creator of the Universe. I see a God so holy, so worthy and so glorious that I can’t even fathom why He would look at a lowly creature like me and love me and desire a friendship with me. Often, my mind has a hard time comprehending such majesty, such faithfulness, such love, and such a friendship.
Yet, then, my fourteen year old son walks into the room, and I begin to think of the conversation we had at lunch earlier that day. We enjoyed laughing together, talking about his latest music find and musing about the days to come. I remember how my soul longed for more time with him and how my heart leapt when he asked my help with something I thought maybe he didn’t need.
That’s when this statement by C.S. Lewis comes alive in my spirit, and I see just a glimpse of what my Heavenly Father might be feeling toward me. If I, being just a human, just a creature of such flesh, can long for a friendship with my own growing son, maybe, He, as King but also Father to me, can long for a kindred spirit and deep friendship with me. As I spend more time with Him, the more I get to know Him and the love He has for me, I find myself saying this very thing that C.S. Lewis said, “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…”