Friday, January 05, 2007

Passionate Friends

John 15:15 (The Message)
Eugene H. Peterson
11-15"I've told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I'm no longer calling you servants because servants don't understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I've named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father.

From a place of trust the words come out, unfiltered, tumbling with abandon, expressing the shape of a heart, the set of a mind. With anyone else the words would be more guarded-- weighed, measured--but with a friend, words can dance free.

Words--sound-symbols for things and thoughts--they need to be out in the light to live--to stretch their wings--to be tested. Held close to the chest or closed within, they lie dormant, unheard, unchallenged, untried--stunted in growth or in mutated form.

But out in the rarified air of friendship they become tools for the shaping of minds; the developing of philosophies, the forming of positions.

Through passionate, intense conversations we learn what we really think--and we shape and are shaped, sometimes painfully and with hard won honesty.

What kind of a Creator would make beings with the capacity for this kind of friendship?

One who will be that kind of friend to any open heart.

Proverbs 27:17 (New Living Translation)

17 As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.


Dave Hingsburger said...

What a beautiful post today. You are right, of course, when trust is present - we get to experiement with who we wish to be, we get to try out - knowing failure will be understood as a result of trying - new ways of being. Perhaps that's what people meant when they went to churches for Sanctuary.

Belinda said...

Your mention of "sanctuary" drove me to my Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, where I found a couple of definitions of the word that are such good descriptors of friendship.
"A consecrated place."
"A place of refuge and protection."

Lily said...

Well, Jesus is "Emmanuel -- God with us". And the bible says (Romans 12, I think) that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit", then shouldn't we indeed be a place of "sanctuary" for one another?

Sanctuary. Sigh.

Larry Crabb calls it "The Safest Place In the World."

Irene said...

Loved your reflection today Bo! We so often forget the soaring that sharing our heart with a friend brings. I officially declare 2007 the year of "Passionate Friends”. So for those of you out there that have lost touch with someone you miss-have courage, STEP OUT, try to reconnect and refresh the flame of that friendship.
"To keep the lamp burning we have to put oil into it." Mother Teresa

Belinda said...

Irene!Yes,here's to the year of passionate friends--friends that don't easily let go--that make it a priority to put oil into the lamp so that the flame burns bright.