A friend loves all times and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17
Recently this verse has been emphasised and reinforced.
Looking back on my brief sojourn through this thing we refer to as life, that verse has actually been a powerful reality and a balm in the times of trouble.
A good friend of mine reminded us recently that we really were made for community. The kind of relationships that reflects the heavenly pattern of interaction. The capacity to seek to understand and be understood. The desire to build the other and put them first in order that the beauty of the image of God in them may shine beyond them for the benefit of the world around them.
I write those words and in doing so recognise how often life falls short of that. I cannot talk to everyone as freely as I want to. There is a lot going on in my head, but there are not that many people I feel comfortable in sharing those thoughts with. Likewise there are those who I know of and interact with who are more than comfortable keeping relations at arm’s length. There is the pretence of wanting to be known, but the drawbridge quickly comes up the moment truly personal issues are addressed despite efforts at sharing vulnerability. It’s like the dance of the hedgehog, very cautiously moving around each other and being careful not to get too close in case we feel a prick.
Jesus is real, though.
I know He’s real because there are those friends that really are friends – they really do love at all times. These people exist and relationships are forged through the different issues of life. Jesus is not just a person I read about in a book, the reality of Him is seen in these few different friends who reflect His character of care, compassion, correction and conviction.
As for a brother being born for adversity. Well. I truly give God thanks for the other male that my mother gave birth to. He knows me at my worst when I can’t even talk to anyone else, there is an outlet in him which is purely non-judgemental but incisive with wisdom and empathy. In the very darkest times in my life and when I was troubled on every side, he rose to the task of just being there for me.
He is not the only one anymore. One or two others have emerged who have proven to be born for the troubled times of Christopher Dryden. They step up and see the troubles as an opportunity to close ranks around me, pray for me, challenge me, support me and carry me when I can’t do anything for myself. Precious brethren.
It’s the kind of reality that makes me look carefully at how I can be that kind of friend and brother.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden