For as close as we have been, we were never close enough. We held back pieces of ourselves from each other, not because God likely wanted us to, but more than likely because we were afraid – and prideful. As down to earth and simple as we both are in so many ways, right down to the way we dress and speak and act, we kept ourselves pretty carefully made up with each other.
We stayed on the surface, interspersed with quick, quiet, not-too-splashy semi-dives down into deeper places. But we came up quickly, for really we weren’t so very real with each other. A little bit haughty, a little bit prideful, probably a lot afraid more than anything, we talked tons about the Lord, prayed together to Him, did nice things for one another and other times hurt each other, never intentionally. But always, our friendship came back to the truth of the matter.
We were never willing to dive, and to stay, down under – down into the deep places that can be found, and reached, only when hearts are humbled before the Lord and we, as children of God, yield ourselves to becoming real. Sometimes, when we parted ways, I felt we would never come back. She would never return for whatever reason, I surmised, or I would never come back because I was too prideful to see where I had failed my friend in loving her with the love of God.
No matter our reasons, I wondered, no, I assumed, a number of times, we would not return to that place where friends meet in the land of the light of the Lord. But then, today, not too long after coming back into each other’s lives, as my friend shared a deep place of hurt with me, and as I did the same, I saw how truly we are becoming real. Not just with each other, but with God. For though He knows us inside out anyway, it is not always that we humans realize we are only fooling ourselves when we try to hide under the covers, to hide behind our makeup, to hide in darkness, to hide whenever, however, wherever, at all, as though we can ever hide from God.
Now, I understand why God told me several times in months past to share with my friend the hardest thing in my heart to share with any human in the world. I agreed to share it, but the opportunity just would not come. Or so I thought. Then, finally it was so obvious that the opportunity lay before me. And I took a great step forward in becoming real. Real with my friend – as I learn day by day to become more real with God. Never in a million years did I think that my one big step forward with my friend would help her to know she could do the same with me.
And then, suddenly, I see it is not merely that we are becoming real with one another. It’s that we both are learning to become real with Him. Open. Transparent. Candid. Confessing. The good stuff. Hard stuff. All stuff. He wants it all. He wants us all. He knows it anyway. But He wants us to love, and trust, and honor, and respect, and feel safe enough with Him that we will be wholly ourselves with Him. Real. Some of us are there already. Some of us are not. Some, like my friend and I, we are becoming real. Real with others. Real, most importantly, with the One who made us. Him. Real with Him.
And so it is that as my friend and I are becoming real with one another, we are learning that God not only wants us to be totally real with Him. He wants us to yield ourselves to Him so that He can heal us in our wounded places, even out our rough edges, take hardness off our hearts, strengthen us where we are weak, grow us where we need it, transform us where we need change, forgive us where we have fallen. And love us all along the way. And so it is that we are becoming real, my friend and I. Real with each other. And real with Him. Our greatest Friend of all.
“This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5-7 NASB