My roommate and I are both on staff on a forum where a member sent me a message recently asking if we were brothers. I had to laugh and say “No. We’re not. Just roommates.” It brings me back to when we first moved to this city and went to the bookstore looking for the apologetics study Bible. I went to the counter and asked and they said “Yeah. Your brother was just here asking about it also.”
I sent that reply, but then I began to wonder.
“There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother….”
Friendship is an interesting thing. If you look at your family, chances are, you wouldn’t like them at all if you were not related to them. I could probably list many great traits of my parents, but I am also quite sure that if I was not related to them, I’d probably never get to know them enough to notice those traits and probably would have them just be people I ran into in the world.
Friends are different. Friends have relationships with you because they choose to and you agree to that relationship for the same reason. You want to be a friend with that person. There is something that you two click over. For us, it was Final Fantasy and apologetics and I believe over time, we found a unique knitting of the spirits.
I have heard that Aristotle said “Friendship is one soul in two bodies.” Indeed, my roommate and I do seem like that at times. We make a great team when we’re in ministry together. When we had the Mormons visiting our house, we were so in sync with each other’s personalities that we knew where the other was going so we could go and prepare to head the Mormons off at the pass.
When a time came that we had to tell a friend some hard news, I was unprepared to handle it. That’s my personality type. I just can’t do something like that. My roommate broke the news. When it came though to counseling them through that situation and offering words of solace, that is where I stepped in. That’s my personality.
There are times we’ve had to be blunt with each other, and when it’s happened, we’ve always been the better for it. I’d like to think that we’ve helped each other to grow as stronger Christians. I will say that being in an area with a friend this close has enabled me to grow and do things that before I ever came here I never would have dreamed of doing.
I then think that too often I take this for granted. You expect your family to care for you, and even that can be taken for granted. Think about your friends though. They seem more unique. These people choose to care for you even though they never knew you at all at one point. They came across you and under no obligation, decided to form a friendship.
I know I take it for granted at times. I should go to bed thankful every evening that I’ve got an excellent friend nearby me. I think that I have someone who knows my quirks and so many of my deep dark secrets and such, but likes me anyway. Have you ever considered what it means that someone likes you with all your foibles and problems and such?
Friendship is indeed something special.
So to the person who asked, is he my brother? Genetically? No. However, I often think he might as well be. The best of friendships could probably be considered “Family by choice.”