As I get older the wisdom of my father seems to grow. When I was young I heard an expression; ‘prepare a meal for me and I will be forever grateful; share your leftovers with me and I will be honored and grateful’.
I thought I understood the comment; the honor that comes when friends express their friendship, but I now understand so much more. Friendship is as much about the past and future as it is about the present. Expressing mutual sharing, intimacy, confidence, and joy between two parties takes on a different meaning as it expands beyond the immediate. The key difference is the depth and quantity of trust that comes into the equation.
During the past few days I have shared bread and steps with several friends. I see their friendship different than I did in the past. Perhaps I took them for granted, or assumed that they would always be there. It may be that I never thought about it at all, just continued through life happy to know that they were a part of it, never really thinking about the relationship one way or the other. Regardless of my thoughts, or lack of, what I never spent a lot of time thinking of in the past is something important to me.
I frequently think about God and our relationship. Sometimes I wonder, other times I sit in stunned silence, and in moments of audacity I talk or scream out loud (positive and negative). I am not sure if I’ve really thought about our friendship. Savior, father, even companion but somehow friendship never crept into the pattern. God, through Jesus at Calvary, expressed an unlimited and unconditional view of our relationship. The expression comes through to most as mercy, grace, salvation, restoration, and love.
I also see God expressing trust. Trust that I will chose a relationship with Him, trust that love can drive and shape the world, and trust the mercy is stronger than vengeance. “No one who trusts God like this – heart and soul – will ever regret it.’” (Romans 10.11)