…The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbour’s glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal…
-C. S. Lewis, from the closing paragraph of “The Weight of Glory”
Tonight, the thought occurred to me that there is something quite possibly more powerful than reason: friendship.
The burned-out cliche reads, “People don’t care how much you know till they know how much you care.”
I, for one, boarder-line loath cliches, particularly the cutesie ones, but for probably the first time in my life of ministry, this one has just now rung true. For what are people with honest questions, real hesitations, and sincere doubts looking? Not folks with answers, confidence, and certainties.
Do I have some answers? Sure, I at least think that I do. Am I confident? Well, not at all times and in every manner, but yeah, at least in matters of faith. Are there some things of which I am certain? Certainly. [By the way, my rule of thumb regarding doubts is that I will not sacrifice what I know for that which I do not know.]
This coming Wednesday holds some significance for me… I’m going to have the opportunity to spend some time with someone I’m beginning to consider a real friend. This person seems to have some major questions, some serious hesitations, and some significant doubts. I’ve been given an open door to simply sit, listen, and perhaps talk a bit, and all I want to do is be a friend…