Friends! I sometimes have a hard time seeing what is exactly in front of my face. I don’t think this is a new phenomenon, I think it is the as old as time itself. How many of us have looked and looked for something, we then go and call for someone to help, and the person sees it immediately within an inch of where we are standing. We just can’t see it for some reason. Of course, the person we called upon for help will not leave us without the favorite “#DUH.” As if we are either totally blind or totally nuts.
This past Wednesday I published a column where I stated I was on my journey alone. That statement wasn’t true and it hurt someone I care about. I’m not alone and really never have been. Much of my time this is true in the physical sense of the word, but it is not true in the support, prayers and good wishes of others that read this column or know me.
You know you were not going to get out of this column without fictional literature of different types being brought up. I think I have an ideal of friendship being fueled by such books as The Lord Of The Rings. The Fellowship broke up, but you know the Hobbits stayed together always and you also assume that Legolas and Gimli are never that long parted. Then there is The Justice League, super powered, yes, but always there for each other, tackling big problems as a team. More intimately we have Holmes and Watson, always together and indispensable to each other. Batman and Robin, crime fighting friends, or even, despite the new film coming out, Batman and Superman they don’t leave each other
This list could go on forever, Lucy and Ethel, Laverne and Shirley, Fred and Barney, Ralph Cramden and Ed Norton, Historically Tolkien and Lewis as well as The Inklings, it is also said that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were friends, and maybe two of the most famous people in the history of Israel Jonathan and David. David said at the death of Jonathan that Jonathan’s love was better than the love of women. David wasn’t gay and was not talking about sex, he was talking about a different kind of love, the kind that only comes in friendship.
GK Chesterton a famous English author and Christian was friends with George Bernard Shaw a famous English playwright and atheist. They would publicly debate each other on whether or not there was a God fighting tooth and nail to make their points, but when the debate was over they went out and got a pint together and were there for each other. When Chesterton died, he did not leave much to help to take care of his wife. Shaw took care of her. This is friendship that goes deep and allows for even basic differences. This is love.
We, who speak English are very limited in our ways of looking at love. In our eyes it is only romantic. But this is not so. There are different kinds of love. There is a love that is reserved for your spouse, a love that is reserved for your friends, a love that is reserved for your family, and even a love for those whom we would categorize as acquaintances. There are four distinctly different forms of love. This is why saying your spouse is your best friend is not really accurate, and if it is true, than you are missing out on the love of friendship. This whole topic will be discussed in a feature article in the near future.
I long for the love of real friendship. The love that takes a few days just to wonder the countryside and talk of great things and ideas. The kind of love that puts people there for you, right in your house, when you are hurting or ill, the love that makes you take the time to tackle big things together, maybe not fighting crime in spandex, though that might be fun, but big projects that take a team to do. I long for discussion of books and music and other art. These are the cries of my heart.
Now am I walking my road alone? No! Many of you and others are walking with me. The text messages and PMs on Facebook all help as do the phone calls, and as I said before the prayers and good wishes of others. You guys that are a part of my life, but I so much more, I want it to go deeper.
There is a part of me that longs for the days of long ago where friendship was so much more. Knowing that this kind of friendship once existed makes my heart long for it. That longing is coming deep from my soul. I doubt I will see it here and now. But I will speak for it and when I can fight for it. But you should too. You incredible people that are reading this, fight with me. Redefine what you mean by friends and if it is in your power, make it happen.
I am not alone as I walk the yellow brick road, or find my way to Mount Doom or Make my way to the stone table and to Aslan. There are many with me. Lorraine, Tom, Caleb, there are several James’, Joel, Steve, Maura, two Lisa’s and a Susan and more than one Kathy. There’s Brad, Saundra, Manny, Kevin, Ken, Matt, Joe, Joy, Meagan, Gary, Daves, Tims. Mary’s, Anne’s Micki, Carol, and many other who I could list forever. I am glad a friend took the time to kick me in the butt and remind me of this truth. I love you guys, but I do dream of more.
If you have a moment take a listen. Two fictional friends, as well as two lifelong real friends, singing about friendship. Song by Cole Porter.