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The Surprising Sounds of True Friendship

  • by Camerin Courtney Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2009 1 Apr
The Surprising Sounds of True Friendship

I never knew snoring could sound so sweet. Or that what I was listening to was the sound of true friendship.

I was at my friend Kathryn's house recently, enjoying some impromptu Friday night workweek detox. I'd arrived on her doorstep wearing mismatched sweats, carrying my slippers in one hand and a mindless chick flick in the other.

She heated a gourmet frozen pizza and fished some veggies and dip out of her fridge. Soon we were settled onto her overstuffed couch munching on dinner and trading stories about dates, deadlines, and dreary weather.

When we were talked out, we popped in the movie. And a half-hour later, I heard a funny little sound at the other end of the couch. Snoring. Kathryn was out.

I giggled, knowing she'd be mortified. This wasn't the first time she'd fallen asleep during one of our Blockbuster Nights. But personally, I loved it. In my book, this meant my friend was so comfortable in my presence she could easily drift off to la-la-land (that, and the fact that she was likely sleep-deprived).

I love that Kathryn and I not only can get spiffed up and check out fancy new restaurants in our neighborhood, but that we also can stay in for mismatched, thrown-together, fall-asleep-in-the-middle-of-it fun. I value the former with my foodie friend. But I savor the latter messiness of our friendship.

Because I need a friend who'll meet me in the messiness and let me into hers. It's in the pain and the mess that we often need friends most. When I went through a painful breakup last year, Kathryn didn't flinch at the tears and snot that came pouring out of me whenever I talked about the guy who'd bruised my heart. I've listened and brought chocolate whenever she's needed to vent family struggles or work woes.

It amazes me how long it took me to realize that trying to impress others with how put-together we are is a joke. I'm regularly drawn to the people whose lives look as messy and bedraggled and held together with duct tape as mine. And I realize what a privilege it is when a friend lets me see her messy, snoring self. It means I'm in. We've gotten beyond the niceties and Sunday morning smiles and "of course I baked this from scratch" expectations, and we can just be.

What a gift.

And what a great reminder about where I need to be looking for my best Friend. As much as I enjoy meeting God in soaring Sunday morning worship experiences, I also love it when I find him in a casual conversation while I wash dishes, or in desperate, dark-of-night wrestling and doubt.

I'm learning to look for him in the ordinary moments of life as well. He's everywhere, so I know he's there in the snow shoveling, the bill paying, and the blog writing. Lately I've been praying for the eyes to see him. And consciously inviting him into my messy and mundane moments.

So I find comfort in my God of the ordinary. My God who never slumbers or sleeps (Psalm 121:4)—as well as in my friends who can't help themselves from doing just that.

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