Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. ~ John 15:13
I remember this verse well; however, every time I saw it in the past, I shrieked at the thought of “friendship love” being considered the highest and most supreme of all. What about the, ya know…romantic type? The kind I had seen in movies all my life, my FAVORITE movies. Isn’t the guy supposed to get the girl? And wasn’t I supposed to be that girl? And weren’t we supposed to live happily ever after? Or something like that?
Recently, it has come to my attention, with a simple half-ear kiss, that I realize maybe my theory is not all that accurate. Due to this recent and very simple display of affection, I found myself looking back at all the times when I felt the most loved and secure and even “saved.” if you will.
I can remember like yesterday the time that I wrecked my car and my friend showed up to console me and she stayed by my side all night to ensure I wouldn’t go on a 3-bottle-of-Cuervo bender. I remember like yesterday the moment I found out my boyfriend had been unfaithful and it was my friends who let me wake them up in the middle of the night, just so I could scream and cry and those same friends who listened, held me, and consoled me. And it was another friend who laid with me in her daughters bed and just let me cry and escape from being an adult, if only for a few hours. And even a stranger that I barely knew (a distant friend you might say) who was experiencing that same kind of betrayal who showed up in the middle of a hot day in Highland just so we could give each other an understanding hug, as if to silently tell each other “I feel it too.” I also remember a friend who took me out on Christmas to shoot a .410 revolver just for the hell of it, to let off steam, to say “yeah, we all feel it.” There have been countless road trips, events, sacrifices, and displays of real — genuine affections that were all inspired by friends.
After these thoughts it occurred to me that maybe there is more understanding, respect, truth, and real Love in the single half ear-half cheek kiss of a goodbye from a friend than there will ever be in an I-want-what-I-want-and-I-want-it-now kind of romantic love.
After all, it was the friends who never gave up on me.
It was my friends that showed me what real Love was and for that I am forever indebted to them and to God.
There is a quote that I love and it goes like this: “I slept and dreamed that life was joy. I awoke and found that life was service. I acted and behold service was joy.” I have a greater kind of Love and right now, this IS my happily ever after.
Laci Smith currently resides in Shreveport, Louisiana. She is a Fine Artist, Poet, Philanthropist, and Christian. She retains a profession in the not-for-profit world and spends her free time studying, dancing, laughing and helping others.