When I was a teenager, I had a poster of this friendship poem by George Eliot hanging in my room. I could have bought it myself, or was it a gift? I could not remember, but I can recite this poem, even today –
Oh, the comfort,
the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person;
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but to pour them all out,
just as they are,
chaff and grain together,
knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping,
and then, with a breath of kindness,
blow the rest away.
Today, my morning devotion is the reading of three chapters in 1 Samuel Chapters 18, 19 and 20. I learn what it meant for David to have an intimate relationship with a trusted friend.
Friends, I have many. Trusted friends, I do not have many. Trusted and intimate friends, I have few.
Author Cynthia Heald said of intimate friends, probably, quite near to the poem by George Eliot. She said,
“Intimacy connotes familiarity and closeness. It involves our deepest nature, and is marked by a warm friendship developed through long association. In order for us to become intimate with another, we must find in him a true confidant – one to whom we can safely confide our secrets.”
“What are the characteristics of such a true friend? Most of us look for someone we respect as wise and just, who we can trust implicitly, with whom we feel safe and secure, and who will respond to us, help us in the right way, and be available whenever we want to share. True confidants are rare, and fortunate are those who have one.”
Is it not about the mutual respect, the emotional support, the commitment, the fellowship, the company in good times, in bad times?
Today, I remember the few of such friends I have over the years.
And I thank God for them!