I was thinking earlier today about having a "best friend." When I was a little girl, I used to think it was sad that adults didn't get to have a best friend. When you're a little girl, not only do you have a best friend (or if you don't, you wish you do), but you have half of a heart-shaped necklace that either says "Be Fri" or "st ends." You have someone who sits with you every day at lunch, and when your mom packs you a healthy lunch, she'll share her summer sausage and oreos with you. You have someone who writes you a letter a week when she moves to Illinois, and whom you can visit for two weeks the summer after she moves.
As we grow older, the idea of having a best friend seems to fade away. We think we mature out of it; none of that exclusivistic and childish nonsense about "best friends."
But today I was thinking that we should reclaim titles for our relationships. The reason is that titles carry responsibility. If I don't have a best friend, there's no one whose job description it is to listen to me, support me, be there for me (I'm not thinking of moms here).
Maybe this explains (partly?) the proliferation of the small group concept for churches in America. We've lost that core sense of identity in a group; here is a group of people whose "job description" - for that portion of their lives anyway - is to be your friend, your confidant, your supporter.
I don't really know where I'm going with this. I can't think of a snappy conclusion. I'm deeply thankful for the many dear friends who do share my dreams and fears, for the kindred spirits with whom I can talk for hours and hardly notice that time has gone by. I thank the one who has enabled all relationships and who so graciously calls us friend. If you don't have a good friend, tell me: I'll be your friend!
and... be sure to read Christian's comment on Ryan's last post in light of this -- CS Lewis is a model for us all in how much he valued his relationships.