On God’s love and an ode to friendship

Published on Friday, 26 July 2013 20:43 - Written by By Rebecca Hoeffner rhoeffner@tylerpaper.com

This weekend, I will be spending time with my best friend before she moves to Utah next week.

Even though she needs to go and we’ll see each other again soon, I have been pretty bummed about it.

We met my sophomore year at Tarleton State University in our church small group. We share a love for our faith, Jane Austen, shopping and a good brownie.

We have cried over boys together and stayed up too late talking about how we thought the world worked (now we laugh about what we thought then).

Scripture talks a lot about friendship, and it’s no wonder. C.S. Lewis called friendship “the greatest of worldly goods” and “the chief happiness of life.”

Proverb 27:6 says, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”

There were times when my friend and I had to call each other out. It stung, but we never doubted that we loved each other.

A true friend will stick with you no matter the mistakes you’ve made, no matter if you disagree.

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you,” wrote American author Elbert Hubbard.

When you think about the qualities, loyalty and unconditional love of your best friend, is it an odd transition to think that’s how God loves us?

Sometimes it’s tempting to think that God will only love us if we measure up to a certain standard -- if we pray enough, read Scripture enough, attend church enough.

It’s exhausting and terrifying to think about God that way.

My friend and I are terrible at keeping in touch. But I can’t imagine, if we had gone weeks without talking, I would call her up and she would say “sorry, it’s been too long since we talked, we can’t be friends anymore.”

God knows we’re imperfect. We don’t pray consistently, we forget the verses we meant to memorize, we get frustrated and say something rude to someone.

Like any good friend, He loves us anyway.