My best friend Ryan and I laugh about the origins of our friendship. He came into my office one day during a particularly challenging season of my life and just asked how I was doing… an innocent question, to some, but neither of us was prepared for what transpired following his inquiry. For some reason, all my filters for propriety had been shed and I responded to the innocuous “how are you” with a brash “not great… I’m really struggling through life right now.” And Ryan responded with a strangely comforting “OK me too.”
At first glance, it might not sound like the most pleasant of circumstances to enter into friendship, but he and I are convinced that our friendship is as good and strong as it is because, from its very foundations, it was a connection built on honesty and openness about the messy parts of life. There’s something profound when friendship goes beyond just common interests and good times and creates opportunities to share space with another person in real vulnerability — showing up, willing to be seen, known, and loved for the good, the bad, and all the mess.
In today’s Psalm, there’s a powerful line we hear: “the friendship of the Lord is with those who fear Him” (Psalm 25:14). Maybe you’ve always thought of the Lord as a close friend, or maybe He seems far off and judgmental. Regardless of your perspective, I believe the greatest friendships we have on Earth only reflect a deeper friendship we are invited into with the Lord; and the vulnerability that marks those great friendships is what generates intimacy with the Lord that our hearts were created for.
Christmas is the day after tomorrow. The Lord is stepping into every last bit of our humanity, unafraid to see, know, and love you perfectly in the mess. When you receive Him, I challenge you to respond honestly. Don’t let expected answers or proper responses limit what you let this Messiah enter into. Because when you share your mess, He’s the friend who enters in with the only love that can perfectly redeem it.
“I’m a simple lady and one of my favorite things to do is to laugh really hard. I’m constantly looking for what is true, good, and beautiful in everything around me, especially music. I have an insatiable desire for authenticity in all areas of my life. I’m pursuing heaven on a messy little journey that Jesus is making beautiful, with new mercies every day.” – Leah Murphy of Life Teen