Friendship is a strong sign of the Kingdom come. Christ even said that there was no greater love than that someone would lay down their life for their friends. And really, that was Christ’s purpose- to lay down His life to make us friends of God. And by proxy, friends of each other. But for some reason, those of us who love revolution, who love waging war against the forces of darkness and corruption in this world don’t always see that friendship really changes anything.
However, friendship changes everything.
To really be someone one’s friend, means that you are willing to lay down your life for them. If we are talking about bullets, most say that they will jump in front of the oncoming onslaught to save the life of the one’s they love. They would be willing to die for that person, no questions asked.
But what if you are the one firing the gun?
See, we sometimes through ideas, accusations, obstacles, and an assortment of other nasty things that start with vowels at those we love, and refuse to be the one to stop those bullets. Or, maybe we stop before that. Maybe we refuse to love our friends, and fire it will. (I like Will, whoever he is. I don’t want to shoot him.) I have experienced some who suggest that those in ministry (and also in the social work field) should avoid “enmeshment,” which means to get to connected with a person you are having a semi-intimate, professional relationship with. But Christ is not a model for such an activity. He did a whole bunch of enmeshin’; he spent most of His time with His disciples, ate with them, walked with them, probably had to run away from a few conflicts with them. The greatest example of being enmeshed? Yep, He died for them, even when they ran scared from dying, and left Him alone. Some friends.
Christ was enmeshed.
And His cry to us is “Come, follow me” and “Take up my cross.” So what does this look like in practice? It depends on the two persons and their situation on specifics, but really the focus is to make a person a part of your family. Eat with them. Laugh and cry with them. Be honest and gentle with them. Be willing to listen to their stupid, repeated stories and their struggles.
Die for them.
Friendship will help us see the foundations and the walls of the Kingdom of God. Subvert the powers today.
Love consists in this: not that we loved God,
but that He loved us and sent His Son
to be the propitiation for our sins.
Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another.
No one has ever seen God.
If we love one another,
God remains in us and His love is perfected in us.
1 John 4:-12