Have you ever seen a scrubby tree that was desperately grasping at the dirt? That’s me with feelings and relationships. My sister says I’m emotionally stunted. I tell her doesn’t have room to talk. The scary thing is that I’m the most expressive one in the immediate family.
She has a point, though. I once bought a book on how to talk to girls. Believe it or not, I’m no Casanova. After a counseling session, I was gifted with a book on how to make friends. The Secret Blend. I recommend it. The largest section of my note archives is dedicated to social dynamics.
This stuff is either hard to grasp, or I overthink it.
When I bought The Four Loves by C.S Lewis to understand God’s love, I was sticking to my pattern. In it he writes about affection, friendship, erotic love, and charity. I returned to dive into the friendship section.
C.S Lewis Teaches Me About Friends
Friends are those who pull out the characteristics in you that others cannot. You have experiences and inside jokes together that others don’t have. It sets you apart from the rest. Together you face a common interest along with the shared insights that drew you together.
Time passes and the mask we all wear starts to flake off, revealing our deeper selves to them. They see what metal we are made of as we pass life’s tests. Respect and admiration grows from it into a well-informed, robust, appreciative love.
In a great friendship, this appreciative love is so great that deep down you feel humbled before your friends.
Have Friends That Are Better Than You
“As iron sharpens iron, so one friend sharpens another,” to quote from Proverbs. There are a few that I admire and am extremely loyal to. The type of friend you drop everything for. These friendships grew from troubled times.
My wife, for one, is stronger than me. She is everything that I’m not, with a big heart, and an ease around people that amazes me. I’ve yet to meet the person who didn’t like her. Expertly, she teases me out of my shell with a single word.
My best friend looks rough. He has more tattoos than he can count, and covered with scars inside and out. Then there’s the attitude of a honey badger that hides a bigger heart than he’s willing to admit. He sees and helps people that I don’t even notice when we’re together. It’s second-nature to him. I want to be as kind as him. He’s the only person that I trust to see my deepest, darkest thoughts.
Two other friends are as amazing. One lives life abundantly, who knows exactly what to say to those who are hurting with uncanny ease. The other seemingly expertly balances all the roles they’re in. I learn from watching them grow ahead of me in the journey.
The central theme is that when I was at the bottom, they were there. I look up to, admire, and am a bit in awe of them. When I grow up, I want to be like them. I hope everyone has friends like these, and are a friend like these.