The best thing about Annesley’s wedding? Everything.
Oh, plenty of things went wrong (some funny, some less-so, depending I guess on your point of view), and I’m sure I’ll be writing about one or two of those memory-makers soon. For now, though, I just have to give a shout out to the bridesmaids and the house party gals who, through the sheer gift of their friendship, made the entire weekend sparkle.
In an age where relationships are often measured in “likes,” it can be tough to know what true friendship is. These girls, though, are the real deal.
From Julia, the “Bond Girl” who has known Annesley since forever…
To Kate, the stranger-turned-soulmate in the blink of an eye…
To Virginia and Hillary, the sisters who spent the better part of a year perfecting the “Maid of Honor” role…
…every one of Annesley’s ‘maids is a living picture of John 15:12. That’s where Jesus talks about how he is our friend, and he gives us an example to follow: “Love each other,” he says, “as I have loved you.”
These girls have done exactly that. They have been loyal, selfless, transparent, resourceful, and fun. Watching them interact over the wedding weekend, I was reminded of how C.S. Lewis likened friendship to “unnecessary” things like philosophy and art. He said that friendship has “no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
I adore Lewis, but modern science might beg to differ with his wisdom – at least insofar as survival is concerned. Psychologist Matthew Lieberman has done all sorts of research on the human brain, and in his book, Social, he maintains that we need a sense of connection even more than we need food and shelter. “Love and belonging might seem like a convenience we can live without,” he says, “but our biology is built to thirst for connection because it is linked to our most basic survival needs.”
Our biology is built to thirst for connection. I am certain that Lieberman is right on this one – if for no other reason than that friendship is at the heart of who God is.
Friendship has existed since before time began, in the Trinity. Friendship was our first-ever felt need, and God knew it: “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). And the lack of friendship – otherwise known as loneliness – is the one problem we will ever have simply because we are made in the image of God. We long for connection because he does.
That last point – that our loneliness or our longing for connection can be traced directly to our Creator – is one that I wish I wish I had made up, but I can’t take credit. It’s a rip off from a sermon our minister, Andy Buchanan, gave a month or so ago. If you find yourself longing for friends, or wondering how to mend a broken relationship, or even just trying to figure out what real friendship is supposed to look like (and I promise you, it’s not the website I found where, for $200, you can buy yourself 1,000 friends – real people – who will “follow” you and post comments on your social media sites), click here to listen to Andy’s message. (You’ll have to scroll down to the teaching from 5/10/15; look for the title “Friendship.”)
“Love each other.”
Can there be a more wonderful biblical charge? Thank you, wedding girlfriends, for doing your job so well.