George Eliot wrote “no soul is a desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence.” To have a friend is, in a sense, to acknowledge that I am tenderly held and can trust another’s love of me. Friendship is the melding of two spirits together in a bond of love and trust. The Book of Ecclesiastes teaches: “Two are better than one, for if they fall, the one will lift the other up; but woe to the one that is alone.” To have a friend is not a marital relationship but to have a friend is the essence of a spiritual bond that saves us from our own ego and pettiness. Friends are honest and forgiving, friends are true. Friends are the out pouring of God’s friendship to us, who are given to us by God’s love of us. Emily Dickenson wrote: Friends are the only wealth I will have in the end. Each friend is a Sacrament of God’ grace.
I belong to a quilt group, the Delaware County Town & Country Quilters. Each person over time has gathered squares made by all the members. These squares are then lovingly put together to form a “Friendship” quilt to keep as a pattern of friendship. Every completed quilt is different, yet it is a melding together of the work and beauty of each member. When the finished quilts are shown there is a wonderful outpouring of a spirit of praise and thanksgiving for the beauty of the squares placed into a completed pattern. This is truly a “friendship” bonding. The talents and the love given in each square is showing reverence for the other bounded in friendship!
Friendship is more than an order of a social life, it is a spiritual force that touches the soul. The Bible is filled with stories of friendship. St. Augustine, a leader of the early church, encouraged friendship as a means for growth and development. “The more friends I shall have,” he wrote “the more we can love wisdom in common.” Friendship is the soul of who we are in the “human-condition” so we can see and feel God’s love coming through to us!