Fr. John Rutten
Parish Pastor in the Diocese of Sioux Falls
Acceptance. Accepting the absence is essential. A wise mentor once said, “if you die with one best friend, consider it a gift.” I learned to let go and live in the tension of my unfulfilled desire. Friendship is gift!
Prayer. Ask Him for good faith-filled friendship, but then move forward with life. Be attentive to what God is doing in your life and expect the gift but wait.
Openness. Accept that God may send someone different than expected. Look at experience – is it not true that the greatest blessings can be from people we wouldn’t expect.
Simplicity. Begin to engage friendship in a simple way, and let it develop over time. Don’t put pressure on yourself or others for something to happen over night. It takes time and shared experiences to grow in deeper levels of friendship.
Freedom. Always leave space for yourself and others to be free. No forced friendship! This dynamic is probably a part of everyone’s experiences. This grasping is a simple sign that we are expecting something from a friend that we are made to receive from God.
Finally, only God can answer our deepest longing, so no matter the depths and quantity of friendship, we will always need our primary friendship to be with Jesus Christ. This is why He came, to call us “friends”!