Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Friendship and the Cross - Part 1

Friendship in our world has become a shallow and “disposable” relationship. Historically friends were not in our lives to only make us happy, they were also there to make us better. William Deresiewicz, in his article for The Chronicle of Higher Education writes his perspective of modern “friendships.”
“A friend fulfills her duty, we suppose, by taking our side—validating our feelings, supporting our decisions, helping us to feel good about ourselves. We tell white lies, make excuses when a friend does something wrong, do what we can to keep the boat steady. We're busy people; we want our friendships fun and friction-free ….” Deresiewicz concludes: "Friendship is devolving, in other words, from a relationship to a feeling.”      Jerry De Luca, Montreal West, Quebec, Canada; source: William Deresiewicz, "Faux Friendship," The Chronicle of Higher Education (12-6-09)

Henri Nouwen, a renowned author on spirituality sees relationships from another perspective.
“In order to be of service to others, we have to die to them.”  While this might seem like another fairly radical statement, what Nouwen is saying here is that we must die to needing those we serve for our own survival.  We can love the sheep and serve them and be committed to them. We can be vulnerable with them and receive from them the gifts that God is giving to us through them.   But our ability to survive spiritually and emotionally—to have our human needs for identity, value, calling, love and approval met—must come from the richness of our own intimacy with God”.
It is only in the vertical love relationship with God that we are prepared for the rigors of the horizontal love of neighbor. Draw near to Christ and then let Him show you the way to draw near to others.

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