I’m so thankful for people that I can call friends. It makes a difference in life, it really does. Yesterday I was reminded of this three different times, in three different ways. We need friends…other people…fellow sojourners.
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” -C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
It is a wonderful things when family relationships turn into friendships — when parent-child relationships transition into something more like friendships or when sibling relationships develop into true friendships. These are wonderful blessings in life.
Another kind of friendship is between people that just like to be together. I feel blessed to be able to say that my wife is truly my friend. Simply put, I enjoy being with her.
The relationship between parent and teenager, or parent and toddler, can’t rightly be called “friendship”, but there are moments where the parent part of the equation can be set aside. Yesterday I sat with my son, wearing his Lillard jersey, and my 16-month old wearing her brother’s old Roy jersey, and watched the Portland Trailblazers taken on (and beat) the Los Angeles Lakers with LeBron James. It was moment of stepping away from all the worries of daily life and just enjoying time together, yelling at the refs, celebrating good plays, and enjoying a great victory.
And then there are the people with no “official” connection to us as family, but who want to be with us and enjoy our company. Twice yesterday, we were invited to enjoy the company of others around a table with food and games. My son and I played a round of Dominion with another Father and his son. My son (8th grade) had an opportunity to be an encourager to the other boy (5th grade) and enjoy each other company. Then, quite unexpectedly, our family was invited to share some time with three other families–each of us from different parts of the U.S., different theological backgrounds, different jobs and ministries — to eat pizza, plays games, and talk life.
Sometimes these moments are rare, and when you find yourself in that place, it’s easy to stay up too late, eat too much pizza, and forget the stresses of life. And it’s good. It’s friendship. Lewis said it had no survival value, but I’m not sure I agree. But he is correct in saying that friendship, in all its forms, does give value to our lives.