“Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” – 1 Samuel 18:1
I have a dream.
A dream inspired by my four years in Darwin.
A dream brewing in my spirit and gaining momentum.
A dream that bubbles inside like a storm when I read this verse.
A dream that I too could have a Jonathan and David friendship.
Surely a dream as profound as this is worth fighting for.
I used to think that Jonathan and David’s deep timeless love for each other was as isolated as it was profound. I am beginning to see however, that our Father has created in all of us a yearning for deep connection with each other. This yearning for deep connection is actually one of our most basic needs. That is how we have been created.
We all long to feel known, loved and understood.
This kind of friendship is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
Beloveds, what if the deep friendship between David and Jonathan is not just an illustration but rather an invitation of what is available to us all.
My pursuit of True Friendship
I want to dedicate a series to friendship. Let me start by defining what I mean when I say the word friendship. I am not talking about superficial, inch deep friendship. The kind where you meet every once in a while for coffee or play group, or on a Sunday at church. Most of the time wearing our happiest smiles and saying all the right things. While it’s nice in the moment and even fun most of the time, if we are truly honest with each other many times we don’t really know what is going on deep in each other’s hearts and lives?
I want something deeper in my friendships. Something more. Something like what Jonathan and David had.
I want friends beyond the pleasantries. Beyond the banter. Beyond ministry. The kind of friendship where we share life. We laugh together, cry together, weather the storms together, move cities for each other and build families with one another. Friendship where we fight for one another, redefine it in different seasons of our lives together, and build our lives around one another.
Is it possible to have what Jonathan and David had in this day and age? An age where life is fast paced and social media is our main interaction, often faceless and impersonal. An age where productivity is valued more than intimacy. Can we go against the grain? If we pursue it, could we have it? True organic supernatural friendships for life? If it can be done. I want in.
Intentional, not exclusive
Surely what I am dreaming of is what God had in mind when he created friendship in the first place. One only has to look at the way John described himself leaning against Jesus’s chest and calling himself ‘the one that Jesus loved.’ Either Jesus valued and modelled deep friendship or John had delusions of grandeur.
I think I have experienced this in my marriage with Mark. What I want however, is to experience this closeness in my relationships outside my marriage. A deep intimate friendship amongst a small tribe of people.
Clearly one cannot have this kind of friendship with everyone.
That would be weird, exhausting and completely unrealistic. And let’s be honest. You are not going to connect with everyone. In fact, the older I get the more I recognise that this kind of connection is rare.
I have been watching ‘The Long way Around.’ This is a British television series documenting a 19 000 mile (31 000km) journey of Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman from London to New York on motorcycles. The major thing that has struck me about this is the way that Ewan and Charley genuinely love and cherish each other. From the beginning to the end. At the start of the series, Charley and Ewan were sharing how they first met, as armatures on a movie set. Charlie shared that in the acting world, while doing a movie, once every five years you meet someone whom you like enough to see again after the movie. This is kind of encounter is rare. Even scarcer than these encounters, is something else entirely. It occurs once a decade if you are lucky. When you meet a friend. A true friend. More than a decade ago on a movie set. He met Ewan. As he described this his voice broke with emotion. For upon meeting each other they realised that they had both met a friend for life.
While these organic, God given connections can be rare, they surely do exist.
For God is the inventor of deep connection and consequently the great orchestrator of colliding our lives with certain individual whereby we too will have a deep connection to. There have been times, in the past, where I too have felt these deep connections. Sadly I have not valued them enough to prioritise them the way I should have. I have let the business of life, work, study and my own insecurities get in the way of something beautiful. I regret this deeply.
I have determined however, in the third decade of my life to be devoid of the richness of deep relationships in my life. For I may accomplish great exploits for God, build great wealth, and have a successful career but what would it all be for if I didn’t have deep relationships to share it all with.
The question I ask now is twofold. How do I cultivate this? And what has prevented me from cultivating deep friendships in my life thus far?
This has led me to my new series on Friendship.
Does the thought of a Jonathan to your David fill you with a deep longing? Or perhaps you are starting to recognise the potential of deep friendships that already exist in your life. By reading this perhaps I will inspire you to value them and pursuit a deep rich well of friendship that you can drink from for a lifetime.
Join me in this series as I unpack and unfold my journey on what the pursuit of friendship looks like for me.
Until next time,
You are deeply loved and richly cherished,
The Healthy Hiccup