Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The following article, “without self-interest”, was written on March 3rd, by Rebekah Sfair, my best friend and author of ‘loving into wholeness’ – Please find her blog in my Favorites list. I wanted to include it in my blog along with the response I wrote to her.

without self-interest
"Friendship without self-interest is one of the rare and beautiful things of life." - James F. Byrnes

Because there is no self-interest, the safety and invulnerability found in friendship of this quality is truly otherworldly and very difficult to describe in words. How does one convey what transpires so deeply within places you have never been before? Diane and I share something truly rare.

Last night, I wept hysterically for more than an hour. A movie we were watching triggered a fear I wrestle with regarding my son. I ran to my room and cried more deeply than I had in all my life. Somehow, I believe that I reached places within me that had never grieved—as far back as my childhood. There was no room for expressing anguish in an unpredictably pandemonic, abusive home.

My best friend quietly appeared, wrapped her arms around me and pulled me very close—securely. I could hear her sobbing and praying as she held my throbbing body. She said not a word to me, but comforted me like I never imagined another person could. Diane knows deep, overwhelming grief. Two years ago, she lost her beautiful daughter in a skiing accident. Shortly before her daughter's parting, both her parents passed away. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. - 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NIV

No one ever wants to walk through grief, but when processed appropriately, we come away with compassion: without self-interest.

Diane's husband came home with a tragic story after having breakfast with his comrades this morning. A three-and-a half-year-old little man drowned in a pond yesterday in a neighboring town. Tears filled my eyes as I couldn't help but empathize very personally. My son is four.

Then, my sister reported this morning that her husband's dad has maybe a day to live...

In response to "without self-interest"

Dearest Friend,

There is so much I could say in response to "
without self-interest." As we 'grow-up' in life, we learn that loss, grief and sorrow are as much a part of life as joy and laughter. A relationship with the Living God, the God of Comfort helps beyond explanation at such a time. The more you know Him, and the more you have experienced Him in all His glorious goodness, the 'safer' you will be through the process of grief.

There are many situations in life that have brought me to the absolute, steadfast belief in His goodness, love, righteousness and power to keep a soul through any circumstance one may face. Life is not always a joy ride or a dream walk. It is full of broken roads and sometimes great suffering; BUT, God has promised that He will never leave us in times that are difficult, and I have always found Him there through the highest highs and the deepest depths.

Over the last number of years, when life has presented grievous situations, I have come to find Him by my side, as it were, with my hand safely clasped in His. The experience of His presence fills my heart with peace and security that is unexplainable and I rest quietly, standing and watching as He shows me more of His heart and life in the midst or in spite of it all. I've learned that He will do something next and I don't ever want to miss that either!

There is ALWAYS a 'next'. Things don't ever remain as they are in any moment. The passage of time brings change for everyone, in everything; and, in that we can have tremendous hope, even when all seems lost right now.

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