Dear Rachel (and Readers)
Remember, Rachel, when we kept up-to-date with each other concerning books that we were reading? Remember the multiple times we took turns ranting and rambling on about the books we read or were forced to read, loved or hated or sometimes both? In honor of that spirit, I wanted to ramble about a book that I just finished reading called The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis.
Basically, in his book C.S. Lewis defines and talks about four different loves that we can experience. He labels them as Affection, Friendship, Eros (romantic love) and Charity. I really liked that he gave clear defintions of each kind of love but that he also saw that they were also connected. All of the natural loves, Affection, Friendship, and Eros, can all overlap and be a part of each other.
What intrigued me the most in this book was Lewis’s definition of friendship. According to Lewis, friendship comes when the individuals come together and realise that they have a shared vision of life. It is more than having a few things in common. It is more than caring for each other as individuals. Friends are able to see or care for ‘the same truth’ (Lewis, p. 79) that the other individual cares about. That could be faith or writing or theatre or social justice or a thousand other things. Lewis even argues that causes and movements are caused by friendships, working towards their vision of what the world should be like. Friends work ‘side by side; their eyes look ahead’ ( Lewis, p. 80)
According to Lewis, it is the least natural and the least experienced out of the four loves, because it is not needed for survival. People don’t need friends. Making friends is not innate. I know, because I look after toddlers. Often you have to teach them how to be friends. Don’t snatch that toy away from him. Don’t hit her. It’s good to share with others. Sharing is caring. We must be kind to everybody. It isn’t necessarily natural to be friendly. You may like people but you have to learn not to be so selfish if you want to have friends.
It’s so incredibly rare to find good friends and have the kind of friendship that C.S. Lewis is talking about. That deep bond that you lightly acknowledge. Some of you may call that ‘soulmates’ but not the romantic kind. In a way, we all have different kinds of soulmates. The coffee-lover soulmate, the impulsive-adventurous soulmate, the writer soulmate, and even the romantic soulmate. We shouldn’t undervalue those soulmates. Physically we may not need them to survive, but emotionally to thrive, yes. I have a few of those. I hope you do too.
However, at the end of the day, it’s not enough either. The main point of this book is that we cannot love each other truly until we love God (p.152). We need Charity or God-Love in each other three natural love. Otherwise love becomes distorted and mangled. Human love is flawed. Natural love is incomplete. Charity connects and completes the other three loves. So without further ado,
Lots of Affection, Friendship, and hopefully Charity from
P.S. Rachel, you’re one of my soulmates, don’t you worry.
“Girl, you’re a soulmate in so many different ways. You’re my writer/reader soulmate, my sister-in-Christ soulmate, my (shall I say it?) potential-future-sister-in-law soulmate, and, of course, my fellow-co-blogger soulmate. I think it is fascinating how friendship is the least natural love for us and it’s SO interesting how it’s evidenced in children (you would know, miss nanny–look at me, using parentheses!). But as we venture on our own separate paths and we’re constantly being put outside our comfort zones, I realize how deeply and emotionally I need friendship. And there are times when I need specific friendships. When it’s a rainy day and I feel like curling up with a cuppa and discussing books and Christian life, I’m craving your friendship. Soon we will have our time of catching up and building each other up. Until then, stay strong. Love you loads, Savvy.” – Rachel ❤