Thursday, July 27, 2006

Fear and Friendship

My last post generated some keenly insightful comments that have in turn stirred up my thoughts on the subject. Of course, the irony of all ironies is that I sit here, behind the veil of a computer screen, opining about friendship while having virtual communication with my on-line buddies. What is wrong with this picture?

I confess that I have fears in friendship. Fears of being fully known (God help me), because we all know that if anyone really knew me, they wouldn't want to be my friend. (I've got all my current friends fooled, though.) I also fear being hurt or rejected. This drives me either to reveal only my false self, the mask that I think others will like, or to shy away from any invitation to intimacy. It seems easier to simply rely on myself.

Both of these fears, however, are false. They are lies that I buy into, that cripple me and keep me in slavery and bondage. They isolate me and ultimately make me weak and sick with an ever-deepening neurosis of self-deception. I become like Gollum -- alone, diseased, perhaps wiry and resilient, but lost in an inner-world of misery and illusion. In the end, Gollum was left with only himself for companionship.

Love must open itself to pain. There cannot be one without the other. We can avoid pain, but only at the cost of both. If we do not risk the threshing-floor of heartache, our lives become shadows of real human existence. We will laugh, but not all of our laughter, we will cry, but not all of our tears.


Blogger Chris Barker said...

Great post, I appreciate the transparency. It seems as though we (those who follow Christ) look through different eyes at those around us. I can look at someone and say, "I would really like to know them, I wish they would trust me by sharing about their ________." Yet I often fail to say, "I would really like to know them, I am going to trust them by sharing about ________."

12:21 PM  
Blogger Ryan Smith said...

From one Gollum to another, I feel you man. Know that I always enjoy getting to know the real you.

12:38 PM  
Blogger pastor david said...

"Love must open itself to pain"...
Spoken like a true romantic, as well as a musician, as well as a college football fan. Here's to the pain and tears that will reveal the light beyond the shadows.

2:10 PM  
Blogger melissa said...

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."
C..S Lewis, The Four Loves

2:35 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

Awesome post brother

1:19 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

"Let people see your struggles and don't ever fake it.. I think everyone who allows themselves to honestly be loved is going to be wounded. Your life is a gift, and out of gratitude to God you should go our there and live. And when it's all over, you're gonna be pretty wounded. And I hope that you're hurt because people have loved you, not because they have used you." - Rich Mullins

11:00 AM  

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