Who are your closest friends in life? What are the characteristics that draw you to them? Are there many or only a few? Have you known them all of your life or only for a short period of time?
People who we call true friends or soul friends are necessary to life. Where would we be without such relationships to accompany us on our journey? I know that I would be so completely lost without the helping hands of others.
Looking back, it seems to me that I have had at least one such friend for every phase in my life. Some of these relationships were short-lived while others remained deepening over time, increasing in-depth and breadth. These relationships have affected my life in the most profound ways imaginable, and each leg of the journey I take, I carry those friendships with me. They are apart of who I am, and their soft voices in my head guide me forward in the journey that awaits me.
What is special about these relationships is that they provide safety for speaking from the heart and of being our authentic selves. They provide us with a place that is lacking in fear, criticism, or ridicule. Abundant grace resides within these friendships in the form of honesty, respect, and mutuality.
C.S. Lewis refers to this experience as “kindred souls”. In my mind that brings about a picture of two souls that are alike and that share many of the same experiences and desires. It evokes a sense of harmony and communion that draws us closer together in our journey forward.
I have been wrestling with the idea that my knowledge of God and faith in God is mostly directed by my intellect rather than by my heart. It occurs to me that intellectualism can be a means of avoiding intimacy. If I intellectualize my thoughts then I take the emotions and feelings out of the equation. Rather than experiencing God as a soul friend who cares for my wellbeing as others do, I diminish Him to God The Creator who comes in and out of my life at will, or when I need for Him to be present.
In an effort to seek true companionship with God, I must begin thinking of Him rather than thinking about Him. I must learn to become more attentive to His presence in my life even when my life seems to be on the rocks. I must learn to spend time simply being with God, gazing at the Beauty that God is and becoming more aware of the Grace that has been extended me. . I must learn to give loving attention to Him just as I give those I call my dearest friends.
The question becomes then, what makes it so difficult to follow through with this knowledge?