a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.
a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile
a member of the same nation, party, etc.
make friends with, to enter into friendly relations with; become a friend to.
[Origin: bef. 900; ME friend, frend, OE fréond friend, lover, relative (c. OS friund, OHG friunt (G Freund), Goth frijōnds), orig. prp. of fréogan, c. Goth frijōn to love]
For a few weeks now the verse "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) has been literally invading my mind. It's come up not only in my mind, but in several other areas of life too. So much so it's uncanny, but I'll spare you the details.
I had a big "DUH" moment today when I realized just why this verse was being brought to my mind. The moment helped me take the verse from my mind, into my heart. I thought I'd share it with you.
I recently moved back with my ex-husband so he and I could co-parent my grandson together. He and I made a commitment to become close enough friends to do this co-parenting in a manner that is nothing but beneficial for this child. I can tell you, it has been extremely difficult so far. I've been working hard at trying to learn how to do this. I don't have any room for big mistakes here. I have to do this right.
This morning, after a particularly trying past few days, the verse flooded my mind rather loudly! It was hard to ignore. (I'm thick sometimes.) So I started meditating on the verse. My first thought was . . . "How is this applicable to my life? My friends already know I'd lay my life down for them."
The Spirit said to me "You're working on a new friendship. You asked for help. There it is."
My first reaction was negative. "Are you KIDDING me? I have to die, or be willing to die, for my ex-husband?"
The Spirit said nothing, but I sort of visualized Him rolling his eyes at me. I kept meditating on the dying part.
Death. Dying. Die. Die for a friend. Die away. Die down. Die off. Die out. Die hard. Expire. Depart, Relinquish. Pass away. Surrender. Subside. CEASE TO EXIST!!!!
I admit, I was on the verge of the mother of all self-imposed panic attacks at this point.
"Some things that must die are not physical, nor tangible, nor are they obvious - especially when one is so close to it." the Spirit gently goaded. (No eye rolling this time.)
I meditated further. I tried incorporating all the things that have been on my mind and what has been in going on in my life since that verse started resonating through my mind. Nothing real came to me, right then.
Later in the day a friend and I were talking on the phone and one of the many things we talked about was an ego problem she perceived she had. (She doesn't have this problem, she just THINKS she has this problem.)
I hung up the phone, and almost immediately an epiphany hit me. This is the point at which the DUH came loud and clear.
The verse says great love means laying down your L I F E for the friend. What good does a dead body do for a person, except cause them grief? That verse does not have to mean ONLY physical life, and it doesn't mean ONLY death of the body. While I had feelings of nobility as I envisioned stepping between me and Lib, (or Tara, or Christy, or Mindy, or Joy, or Flo, - All my BFF's) and a bullet, this is not what the Spirit has been trying to tell me about my choice to be friends with my ex.
What must die is my own ego .
The "I expect. . . "
The "I want. . . "
The "You should. . ."
The "If only you would . . . I could . . . "
The "Why didn't you . . . "
(SUB THOUGHT - Gee. Maybe if we'd done that before, we wouldn't be ex-spouses.)
Now if I can just take what I have heard in my mind and taken into my heart because I understand it, and move it into action in my day to day life things might be ok.
It occurs to me that taking a bullet would be a WHOLE lot easier!