I grabbed my phone from my bedside table Wednesday morning and considered the options. Despite the appeal, I know better than to start the day with social media. As I scanned the apps on the screen, I became curious about the verse of the day on You Version.
The early hours can sometimes be the better hours for letting scripture sink into your mind and soul. The haze of just waking up lends itself to some imagination.
The verse began, Jesus said to her.
I didn’t recognize the rest of the verse. I am her too and I must know the context of this story. I could not resist Jesus said to her and clicked Read the Full Chapter.
It was the story of Jesus, Mary, Martha and Lazarus, when the latter was raised from the dead.
It’s a Story about Friendship
It’s a story about many things, but Wednesday morning, the friendship among the four of them resonated. I imagined the helplessness and loss the sisters felt as Lazarus became sicker. They sent a message to their friend Jesus to come.
We need each other. We call to those we love when we need nearness for whatever life may be serving that day. We so need each other when hard things hit. We need proximity, care and comfort from the people who reach for us without asking a question or saying a word.
We need the people with whom we have made mistakes in front of and have been forgiven. We need the friend who has laid her head in our lap for comfort amid hard things. We need the friends who have wiped tears from our cheeks and put our hair behind our ears.
We need friends who understand brokenness and emptiness and desire to fill it in only the way a friend can. These are the same friends who know your best recipes (or that you can’t cook) and what to bring you for dessert. These are the friends that empathize, show up and be present with us. This was the friendship among Jesus, Mary, Martha and Lazarus.
Jesus was a person, not only God.
I think about how I share my life with my friends. How I talk to them, text them, make plans with them. When I think about Jesus as a person, as a friend, I ask myself if I really can imagine in my heart of hearts that he is just like my Susie, or Stephanie. My Melissa or Sonia. My Christina or Connie. My Suzanne, Sharon or Sils. My mom. My Nathalie.
Do I embrace him like I embrace them? Do I think up ways to bless him like I do them? Am I concerned that he knows I love him and am there for him like I am concerned about them? Do I wonder what he is up to like I do when I call or text them?
This isn’t a test of love. It’s just another way to think about your Savior.
Jesus said to her. He spoke to her as a friend. He told her the things that only he could know. Your brother will rise again. He did the things that only he could do. Do you believe me Martha that those who believe in me will never die?
When she wept, he wept. When she reminded him of death, he reminded her of life. When others looked onto the friendship among the four, many believed in Jesus. When others look on to your friendships, does the idea of having Jesus as a friend crackle in their mind?
Jesus said to her.
Four little words that keep me running towards my friendship with Jesus.