Knit Together


If you come to me in friendship…

It's an invitation, but there is caution. There is hesitation in these words. There is trepidation like someone that's afraid of being wounded, someone who has perhaps been hurt before, someone who (just shooting in the dark here) had her heart broken recently. I doubt that this describes anything that David was feeling in 1 Chronicles 12:17 (NRSV), but when I came across these words in my prayer life, I was struck by their power. I was startled how they spoke to my own cautious hesitations in friendships. In these words, I hear the desire for relationship, to be connected but it's not clear if it's worth the risk. And yet, it's not clear if this invitation will be held as tenderly as this person (ahem) needs to be held. Oh. How I can relate.

If you come to me in friendship…

It's a line that should be familiar to me. Over the years, I've made decisions about what friendships I want to go into. I've been fairly clear about where I'm willing to put in the work and where I'm not. This became especially clear when I went to seminary and worse when I was ordained. My frustration and insecurity about how the very personal aspects of my faith had become public—so that I couldn't ignore it. I couldn't dismiss it. I wanted to talk about it. Oh. And I hated their questions. I hated the same questions over and over again. It never seemed like they understood. It never seemed like they even listened to the answers. So, I withdrew. I stopped putting energy into those relationships.

Of course, as time unfolds, I've found myself a little sad that my college friendships have eroded. These relationships weren't marked by my insecure frustrations about my public faith. We were just scattered across the country. We haven't seen each other in a long time. I'm not a phone person. They don't email. They're all in relationships. I'm single. It's not for lack of care. Our friendship has just faded.

And then, well, something weird happened. First, I got a Facebook message from a woman I knew in college. I'd like to believe there was a kindredness between us—but we were never really close. It doesn't really matter. Somehow, through Facebook or life or God, we've been pulled back together.

If you come to me in friendship…

She's studying to be a therapist now and wrote in the interest of understanding how faith informs the human construct. She's never had faith. She has a longing for it but it's never been something she's claimed. So, who better to ask then a college friend that posts on Facebook about her ministry in the Christian Church?

If you come to me in friendship…

She came to ask me what I thought. I'd totally forgotten the similarities in our stories—the loss we'd both experienced at a young age, the ways we coped and the ways we didn't. She came to understand—or in the language of David—she came to help me. Sure, she was asking out of her own wonder, but she came to me in friendship. She wanted to know what I thought. She wanted to know how I felt.

And so, though she might never know it, she helped me. She gave me peace—and so my heart is indeed knit to her. (I like knit better than bound.) Perhaps it already was. Perhaps it was always there. I just didn't notice. I hadn't paid attention to the similarities—but felt the distance as I had with so many relationships in my very, very secular college—in the differences I felt as a person of faith. Perhaps I've used this as an excuse too often. Ok. I definitely have. I've allowed this thing about my faith to separate me from those that don't get it. I've ignored the fact that at some point in our past, these wonderful people that I knew in college came to me in friendship. They helped me become the person I am today—and they'll always be knit to me. They will always be part of my heart. Always.

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