A Blog by Jennifer Aulthouse

A heart for those who want more of God. A desperate plea for those who don't.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Gift of Spiritual Friends

My friend called me “weird” last week and I’ve relished that ever since. She stopped by for a visit and she happened to mention how her grandson has gotten interested in the Titanic. Unbeknownst to her, I’ve been a Titanic buff for years now, ever since Leonardo DiCaprio uttered “No one puts Baby in a corner!” to Kate Winslet’s spirit-crushing family and family-to-be. Okay.....wrong movie, same theme. Except for the boat part.

Anyway, as she was getting ready to leave, I showed her just a bit of my titanic collection of Titanic collectibles. In college, I wrote my senior thesis on the Titanic and the various ways the public has chosen to remember the sinking, and how those remembrances have affected us. I have many, many books and knock-off memorabilia, but the “weird” comment was spurned from a book in my possession which is in essence a Bible study based on spiritual lessons we can take from the Titanic. I showed this to her with great enthusiasm, which led to her response of “you are so weird!”

It was said with delight because of her love for my unique idiosyncrasies. Since, I’ve found myself very grateful for the handful of people I have in whom I know get my "out-there" tendencies. They understand why I’m drawn towards what I’m drawn towards, and even if they don’t always share those tendencies themselves, they’ve come to appreciate their value in my life and to the world.

What a marvelous gift it is to have people like this in our lives. They are each a different spice in my spice rack, bringing a unique flavor I could’ve never conjured up on my own but would never want to be without in my kitchen of life.

I spend a lot of time studying people and what makes us tick from a spiritual and philosophical standpoint. Anytime I read an applicable Bible passage, I cannot help but notice the supreme importance placed on spiritual friendship and how desperately we need honest, loving people who see our great value in God’s eyes, and are willing to be inconvenienced by being warmly involved, as called, in our daily monotonies. Yet they are also willing to challenge and disturb us when necessary because they love God more than they love us and they want to see Him glorified in how we live. They are miners, traversing the dark, dirty, unsteady terrain of our human condition because they know there is treasure to be found. We need those people and we need to be those people.

Authentic spiritual connection between God’s children provides now but a glimpse of the glory of eternity. I’m grateful for this revelation and the perspective it’s afforded me, and I’m sweetly humbled by those who have found the hard work of mining me worth the time. What a wonderful example for me to pursue as I relate to others.

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