Zane WilemonUbuntu Life Co-Founder and Executive Director
The power of friendship is such an inspiring thing. I first met Jeremiah Kuria 18 years ago in Maai Mahiu, Kenya. I was 23 years old and Jeremiah was 33 years old. Jeremiah grew up in very modest house with dirt floors and got his first pair of shoes when he was 15 years old. I grew up with cement floors in my house, never really in want for anything and received my first pair of shoes before I could even walk. Our backgrounds could not have been more different, however, a spark formed quickly for both of us that then led to a desire to know one another better that then led even further to create something powerful together.
However, it all started with that subtle and simple spark of friendship.
In friendship...we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another...the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting--any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends, "Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another." The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
I often think about my friendship with Jeremiah and friendship in general in this light that C.S. Lewis outlines in his book, The Four Loves. It's a beautiful thing when you stop to reflect on those lives that have stuck to yours to become your nearest and dearest friends. Was there a cosmic force like Christ or God that brought those friendships together or is it merely happen stance. For me, I believe passionately that the Divine Creator does in fact move in our lives to bring those souls together that will help aid in the process of unfolding "to each of us the beauties of others" and the beauty of the created world.
A friend recently said to me, "There are a few different groups of friends. There are friends for a reason. There are friends for a season. And then there are friends for a lifetime." I love this as it clearly defines these levels of friendships and how they move through our lives. Some friends enter or we enter into their lives for specific reasons or perhaps for specific seasons of life. And then there are the friends that we are blessed to have for a lifetime. All should be cherished and nurtured for their specific revealing of beauty in our lives, but none can compare to those friends created for a lifetime.\
As C.S. Lewis says,
In a perfect Friendship this Appreciative love is, I think, often so great and so firmly based that each member of the circle feels, in his secret heart, humbled before the rest. Sometimes he wonders what he is doing there among his betters. He is lucky beyond desert to be in such company. Especially when the whole group is together; each bringing out all that is best, wisest, or funniest in all the others. Those are the golden sessions; when four or five of us after a hard day's walk have come to our inn; when our slippers are on, our feet spread out toward the blaze and our drinks are at our elbows; when the whole world, and something beyond the world, opens itself to our minds as we talk; and no one has any claim on or any responsibility for another, but all are freemen and equals as if we had first met an hour ago, while at the same time an Affection mellowed by the years enfolds us. Life — natural life — has no better gift to give. Who could have deserved it?- The Four Loves
May each of us walk out into the world today feeling the warmth and deeper appreciation of those friends that open a greater beauty to our hearts and into our lives.