January 31, 2017 at 11:01 pm #12036
In Andrew’s story “The Prince of Yorsha Doon,” Safiki feels that having friends and being known means life gets complicated. What do you think? How is it risky or troublesome to let other people in? Is the risk worth it? Is Safiki missing anything?
February 2, 2017 at 6:09 pm #12055
This topic made me think as I was reading this story. In part I felt like I understood and could relate to Safiki and I also felt sad for him – because by not being open to friendship and knowing and being known by others, he did miss out on a lot. It’s a hard thing to be alone, and I don’t think it’s how the maker made us to be – we were made for relationship.
I think Safiki fears having friends – because love costs something – and it did cost him, when he decided to accept Oskar as a friend, it made Safiki’s life more difficult. . . But I think – yes it’s worth it. Love hurts. Love costs. But it’s worth it – because we need each other, we’re not meant to live life alone and perhaps a life with love in it even if that love results in being hurt or “bothered”, is far better than trying to live life alone.
I think I’ve struggled with the opposite of Safiki, in a way. . . Fear of friendship and letting myself be known, because it risks me hurting other people. There was a time when I decided that it would be better to live life alone than to be close to people and to risk hurting them. But I also missed it, because by not letting myself get close to people, I also missed out on being able to care for them.
Some things I’ve learnt . . . We are an imperfect people and we live in an imperfect world – that means that love is going to hurt – we will hurt others and be hurt by others because of sin, and being close to people hurts because the world is imperfect and it hurts to see people we love struggle, or experience pain, or die. But, the solution cannot be to live without love, without getting close to anyone and I don’t think that that’s what God wants. God works through hard stuff – he uses it to bring us closer to him – I don’t think that we’re meant to avoid pain and hurt for ourselves or others at all costs. Saying that we won’t get close to others because it might result in us or others being hurt doesn’t allow for redemption and grace and forgiveness.
So . . . Yes, I felt sad for Safiki at the beginning of the story. There’s beauty in friendship – even when it’s imperfect – because the maker can work through it – he redeems brokenness. We are called to love others and to live in relationship with others, and being known and knowing others is a precious thing.
Hmmm . . . I hope that that wasn’t too much. I didn’t expect to write that much, it’s just a topic I’ve had a lot of thoughts about.
February 2, 2017 at 9:24 pm #12063
Awesome! Thanks for your thoughts, Steph! 🙂 I also loved in this story that their friendship wasn’t based on age. I feel often that elderly people and young kids are afraid to open up and be real friends to me (I’m of a young-ish adult age). I was SO HAPPY that in this story, though Oscar is an older man, he isn’t afraid to risk and help Safiki! He knows that he has something to offer.
If you’re reading this, and you’re a person, you have something to offer. If you know Jesus, you have the image of Him to offer the world. You’re his kid, you resemble your Father, and there’s no mistaking that.
February 3, 2017 at 7:55 am #12076
In the words of C. S. Lewis himself:
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one…. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken, it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.
February 4, 2017 at 9:25 pm #12091
Steph, such good thoughts. Thank you so much. Love does hurt at times, but I think you’re exactly right—we’re made for relationship, so we can’t be fully whole on our own. And if we are made for relationship, then even if healthy relationships are sometimes difficult to build and maintain, we do have a lot to offer each other. Not offering means there are things the Maker put in us that are buried like treasure in a field. Even if it hurts, I would rather be buried like a seed in the field. (That is a very mixed set of metaphors.)
Elia, I love that quote.
Teresa, that is an great observation. Oskar is always making friends with people younger (and older) than himself. I think that sometimes feels risky. When there’s a big gap between people (age, or education, or socioeconomic status, or family background, or religion, or whatever), it might feel safer to not try bridging the gap. It takes more work to understand each other. But there’s so much we can learn from each other, too.