Surrounded

This isn't some shallow expose on the number and variety of friends I have (as of writing, 152 on Facebook). Depending on the types of people they are, I would say it's a good thing to take from those that need you (thanks, Phil Collins), that which you'd like in order to become who you are--after God, of course. I would like to remark, though, on the uniqueness of each as they relate to the Lord, first. Then to me.

Genotype

God is one person. Yes, there's the trinity (And that's a higher form of logic than we can fully wrap our minds around--accept it.) and all the angels and all that. In no way do I mean to downplay it. But then there's The Body. Jesus says "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." (John 15:14) He's talking to His disciples. They're about ready to graduate from the free-form school of discipleship as pertaining to He. And before I go any further, can you imagine, were His curriculum mass-produced and valued according to the world's standards, how much you'd have to pay for a three-year matriculation and education and degree? Impossible and also invaluable. But that's what I'm getting at. Jesus has led around these twelve men, eleven of whom make it all the way through His way of learning and thinking only to hear in the Garden of Gethsemane, this stark statement of qualification for "friendship". I can't hold that carrot-and-stick (that's not what it is, bear with me) over any of my friends, by the way. I'll only be your friend if you do what I say. A simple statement of folly silenced by the equally simple statement of "I'm not God." And this isn't to say that all my friends are followers of Christ. I'm human, so are they. I will say this, though. If you want to be my friend (I'm being facetious.), you'll need to be another sesquipedalian. Just so you know. That'll be five dollars.

"Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." (John 15:15)

Phenotype

We are all so radically from one another as to be impossibly mismatched. My best friend and I met one afternoon under simple and unpretentious auspices. We talked for a bit about our mutual love of (and desire to traffic in) the written word. I should mention how I'd seen him sitting in church one afternoon and then noticed him walk through where I work. But as we got to know one another, the radical differences in the broad-strokes of our outlook on life began to show. And rather than change my viewpoint or criticize his, his uniqueness only serves to complement my own. This is friendship, God's way. Both He and I, to the best of our ability, have endeavored to follow Christ and in and amidst all that, He brought us alongside one another. The things that made him, him and me, me are alloyed into a little piece of what is called "The Body of Christ". But without Jesus, the differences in our background and outlook would make for an air of ennui were we to try and hang out. It's weird.

"Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3)