Have a best buddy? Someone whom you have known for years? Someone whom you could share anything with, without judgement? Consider yourself very lucky. These are the people we cherish. We don’t have to put on airs (they usually cut us down to size for doing so and bring us back down to earth). We don’t have to be someone were not around them. We are allowed to be ourselves and allow them to be themselves at the same time. We argue, get mad, try the silent treatment, but in the end we are forgiving of each other. Their flaws aren’t deal breakers like ours are not deal breakers with them. We can call each other on our “stuff” and create an even stronger bond by doing so. When the going gets rough, they are right there to catch us if we fall. They are companions all throughout our lives. Even when distance and time draw us apart, they are still right there with us. Spirits joined together.

You could hardly find anyone ready to die even for someone upright; though it is just possible that, for a really good person, someone might undertake to die.(Romans 5:7)

Making friends is a mystery. Drawn together for a while we wonder how we found each other and stayed with one another. Common ground, maybe? Same likes and dislikes, maybe? Maybe it was because we were polar opposites that drew us together. At which point did we realize we would be bound for so many years even after so many different experiences? It’s a mystery. The following snippet from John’s Gospel for this third Sunday in Lent gives us the insight for how friendships start.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Give me something to drink.’

8 His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.

9 The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew. How is it that you ask me, a Samaritan, for something to drink?’ — Jews, of course, do not associate with Samaritans.

10 Jesus replied to her: If you only knew what God is offering and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me something to drink,’ you would have been the one to ask, and he would have given you living water.(John 4:7-10)

First encounters don’t always work out but if a Samaritan and Jew could find common ground in the olden days who’s to say that the next person we chat with won’t be our friend for life. There is hope.

and so it goes…