Yesterday at church was one of the those Sundays when a 3 minute sermon was packed into 30 minutes. The message was on point; it just didn't require as much time as it was given. It could really have been reduced to three sentences:
- Having friends is a good thing.
- Having true friends who stick with you when times get tough is a GREAT thing.
- Jesus wants to be our friend and for us to be surrounded by friends who help us draw nearer to him.
Life gets real when we talk about the people that hurt us, the things that have damaged us and the failures we are haunted by on a daily basis. We can be better friends when we quit saying things are "just fine" and start sharing our needs and our pain. Over the years many people have come to me with their hurts and bruises, and it is clear to me now that those same people are the ones who have loved me through all of mine. Bruises appear in all shapes and sizes- but they all hurt. Friendships grow deeper when we allow each other into those painful places and allow one another to love as God wants us to love- unconditionally no matter the circumstances. The band Train had a song a couple of years ago called Bruises in which two old friends reunite and speak of how "bruises make for better conversation...you're not alone in how you've been, everybody loses, we've all got bruises." They also talk about the inclination of people to want to fix each other, to blot out the bruises, when in fact it is our blemishes that often make us unique. It's a great song. Watch and listen below.