Wednesday 4th Week Lent 

PHOTO: LAURENCE FREEMAN

John 5:17-30: I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me

Friends are people who are there for us when we need them. Often we don’t know who among our acquaintances are true friends until circumstances reveal it. People we thought we could rely on conveniently aren’t available or sit on the fence when we need people on our side. Others, whom we had not really appreciated before, show an unexpected depth of love and courage.

This being-there for of friendship applies not only in times when external events overwhelm us and we feel helpless and alone. Friends also, on occasion, save us from ourselves. Our inner high and low pressures threaten us with a personal implosion. A friend knows us well enough to recognize this and does not walk away even when we push them away. They wait and do not take offence. (Love is patient and kind). If we do not reach out to a friend suffering in this type of isolation, even when they reject our offer of help, we fail ourselves, our friend and the friendship itself.

Friendship, like the relationship that Jesus describes himself having with his ‘Father’ is like the digital Cloud. Everything here down below is stored up there, non-geographically, but accessible from any physical point and at every moment. Both friends are there together in the Cloud. But they are also individuals, living the friendship in all the changing circumstances of life.

Perhaps this helps understand why the way this relationship with the Father is described sounds both deeply intimate and way beyond our grasp. In certain dimensions of consciousness we find ourselves at what physics calls an ‘event horizon’. As observers we feel it is all obscure and distant; we feel we are travelling to a point of no return. But if we stop trying to observe we suddenly feel at home and at peace as never before.

We need to train for this awakening. The point of Lent is training in order to remain more aware and alert in ordinary life so that we experience how extraordinary it is. This is another way of seeing how meditation is the spiritual meaning of Lent.


 
With love
Laurence
 
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