Joy is hearing a friend tell me they love me and see the beauty of God shining in me. I am grateful to have had friends throughout my life who say such things to me. It is a treasure to my soul when the people who know me best, quirks and imperfections and all, gift me with these words.
I was reading my daily devotion from Madeleine L’Engle this morning when I had the insight that spiritual friendships are just as important as spiritual practices. As L’Engle noticed, “Too often we do take God for granted.” I often think of practices like silence, study and singing as ways to connect with God. Practices like these, and many others, are great disciplines for nurturing my soul. For me, though, sharing these practices with friends makes them much better. Even silence is richer when I am with friends.
I love that I have friends who will listen to my stories, encourage me, laugh with me, and spend time with me. Spiritual friends also help me awaken to the beauty and newness of God that surrounds me and is within me each day. With their presence, words, and actions, spiritual friends remind me not to take God for granted. For these reasons, part of my sabbatical schedule includes time with at least one friend every day.