"I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father, I have made known to you." John 15:15b
We didn't do anything or go anywhere special. We hung out by the fire, shared good food, caught up on our lives and at times we didn't say a word. Someone looking from the outside-in, might have thought we were bored or even mad at each other. They'd be wrong.
Our husbands have been friends since kindergarten and as couples we've shared 25 years of life's surprises. There's not much that we don't know about each other. There' s not much that would surprise us, either. Individually we're cut in shapes as unique as the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle but when we're together, standing shoulder-to-shoulder our lives interlock and bring life into focus with a comfort that no words can express. There's an unspoken understanding, a unity, a strength.
It was that way with Jesus and his disciples too, I would guess. There wasn't much they didn't know about each other in the three years they hung out, broke bread and shared life together. Each one as different as the pebbles on the beaches they walked, yet united and strengthened by their friendship with each other, led by Jesus.
Jesus defined their friendship by how much he revealed to them... everything! He was fully transparent with them; held nothing back. And, when life got really tough for him, especially the night he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, he asked his friends to stay with him. They didn't have to say a word, just stand with him shoulder-to-shoulder through that difficult night.
There are times when our own friends just need to know we're there. We need not say a word. Just stand with each other, shoulder-to-shoulder.