“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” ~C. S. Lewis
In all honesty, this particular quote has come to mind quite a bit as of late. In fact, it’s found it’s way into my thoughts at least once every day for the past week or so. Through my life, I’ve had all sorts of friendships, some better than others, some entirely painful, some wonderfully beautiful, some lost, some gained, but they all have that in common, something in common. For you see, the very idea of friendship is vastly complex. Two people, two hearts working together to form a bond they hope won’t be broken. All the complexities of two lives, two minds bound together by care for each other. Oh, and if that isn’t complex enough, many friendships exist between three or more, even large groups of people.
With these things in mind, each friendship is vastly unique, by all of the lives involved, their ways of thinking, thoughts on existence, hopes, dreams, quirks, past, future as well as their strengths and weaknesses and so many other things. One of the many interesting points of unique interest is the beginning. Why? When did that event happen upon which I could call you my friend?
“What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it.” ~C. S. Lewis
From experience, this truth can vary from the littlest thing to the grandest belief or shared adventure. It could have been a smile, similar music taste, shared obsession over a tv show or movie, a struggle in common, a mutual friend, a bus ride, a nice book, a common enemy, a spilled drink, a falling piano, a dying unicorn, anything. When you’re discussing your favorite movies, tv shows, and music on the bus, when that phone call comes in and you break down in tears, your book falls out of your backpack and a falling piano crushes it while you watch your enemy shoot a unicorn and run off, you have suddenly gained a companion in the journey of life, a friend. On a lighter note, it could have begun with the simplest or most complex thing ever, but that beginning will carry on through the rest of your friendship, even if only as a memory, or a ghost of one.
Even at this point, the journey itself has hardly begun. Every trial, joy, laugh, tear, step and word along the way makes a difference. The shared paths would not have been bearable alone, you discover. This friend has made all the difference. At the moment you found something in common, you began to grow together, stronger, your lives melded closely, crossing over constantly. Sometimes, these wonderful friendships end up in more, in the right circumstances, sometimes they last as strong best friends, sometimes they never really stop struggling up a hill that keeps dumping them over a cliff, sometimes they just slip away like a vapor.
If it is those things in common that begin the friendships and strengthen them, what happens when those things start slipping away? Say, you begin liking different bands, make new friends, lose friends in common, not having time to watch the same things, your paths go further and further apart, you have different trials, jealousy flames up, believing differently, fighting together isn’t usually an option, failure to understand, and it becomes difficult to share stories when you hardly have the time to talk anymore. Each of these things can be repaired if both friends are willing, even distance can be overcome in the name of friendship, through letters, internet communication, or just knowing the other person never stopped loving you and returning that. However, sometimes these circumstances can cause friendships to grow weak or even fail, sometimes one or both sets fire to the bridge, sometimes the flame catches on it’s own, or maybe one of the friends was careless enough to leave flammable material out in the sun. It happens. Bridges can be rebuilt, bonds can be strengthened, love doesn’t fail.
Friendship can be immensely beautiful, incredibly painful and entirely worth it, a grand journey…
These are but a few thoughts that have been stirring in my mind about the intricately complex thing that is friendship, God’s magnificent gift to us, that we not be without companionship on this earth… Even as we love all, friends and enemies, it is those dear friends who help us along the way, who’s strengths fill our weaknesses, who stand back to back with us and bind together, who brings smiles to our faces and tears to our eyes.