My wife and I have a friend who just recently lost her very close friend. She was my wife’s friend as well.
They had lived together for the past, oh I’d say, forty, forty-five years or so, each with her own career but having common interests and friends. I liken their relationship to that of David and Y’honatan described in the Scriptures:
“By the time David had finished speaking to Sha’ul Y’honatan found himself inwardly drawn by David’s character, so that Y’honatan loved him as he did himself.” 1 Samuel 18:1 CJB.
A more poetic rendering, maybe truer sense of the rendering, to me, is:
“And it came to pass, when he had made and end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” 1 Samuel 18:1 AKJV.
These relationships speak of an intimacy that goes beyond the physical. Two people will recognize a mind and heart in one another that is compatible. Something in each other’s character draws them together and they form a trust and a bond. And that trust and bond lasts, irrespective of time or distance. They will work on each other’s behalf whether near or apart.
Some of that to say this.
Our friend went to be with family in south Florida just after the passing. She has been recuperating from a procedure on her knee and now after about three months or so is coming to the end of her physical therapy and will be able to travel about and get around on her own. This means she will be coming back to her home, where she will be, by herself.
My wife and I have been going there regularly while she has been away to start her car, check on things and make sure everything is ok. It’s odd to go inside, especially in the evening as it’s growing dark. It’s quiet and grayish. Little night lights go on triggered by motion sensors and light the way from room to room. Everything is in order just as she left it, a house austere in its furnishings with very little clutter but everything that is there, of good quality and a meaning to them in some way. All that is missing is living beings.
So I think, how is it going to be when she finally comes home, unlocks the door and steps inside that lovely, comfortable, empty house that is missing a presence she once knew?
While south, she had her sisters and brother-in-law around her, activity, things to do. Has she thought about what’s next? Life goes on but when you have to face it finally, in a new reality, the reality of it sets in.
In the past there was a companion and all things could be shared, good times and adversities. And in the past she had her friend.
“A friend shows his friendship at all time- it is for adversity that such a brother is born.” Proverbs 17:17 CJB.
We’ve all heard stories about a husband and wife who have been married for some enormous number of years and one passes. Then not long after, the other goes as well. In my mind I get it but in the heart I never did.
But now, knowing her the way I do and thinking about what she faces I think I understand. Life changes, everything about how one has lived changes. The focus and not only the focus but the joy and comfort and trust one had is gone. If you’re old and the one you love has gone…well…what’s the point?
Well that’s one way to look at it and I believe any one of us would have the same thoughts, initially.
In the case of our friend, I’m pretty sure her grieving will not turn into giving up on life.
But I finally understand, I think, in a small way, this particular adversity that many face, or will face, if they are blessed with a true friend or mate.
My Jesus, our Yeshua is related in various ways but one of them is as a friend. He demonstrates that friendship each day as One who is present with us to share in good times and adversity. And He dwells on and works for our well being at all times. He died for us once and He intercedes for us continually.
If we listen to Him, we will find ourselves “inwardly drawn” by His character, our hearts and souls will “be knit” with His and we will love Him…and He will?... no, does, love us.
We have our friends and our mates with whom our hearts are knit and we will all leave this testing but when we get to that dwelling that is being prepared, and open the door, step inside, it will not be just an empty space, but will be a place filled with Presence, joy, comfort and rest. That is the reality that sustains in loss.
Father, thank You so much for those special people in our lives who mean so much to us. Thank You for their humor, for their way of thinking and willingness to share in those thoughts. Thank You that we can trust them and they us and that there is forgiveness when we falter in that trust. Thank You that they care and are faithful. Thank You that every good characteristic, every good thing we experience in them is something of Your image You have placed there that we can share with one another. Thank You that though we fail at being perfect as friends, Yeshua was not, is not and forever sets the standard at which we aim. Thank You Father, that we are not left alone. We praise You Father. We love You… Abba.
In Yeshua’s name we pray,
May God’s love be in us all.