Friendship is enough.

“The word sacrament is being attached to the word friendship not to qualify friendship but to put a hedge of protection around friendship. To consecrate and hallow friendship in a way that says: Friendship is enough.

The word sacrament is attached to remind us that friendship is not utilitarian. Far too often, Christian “friendship” drifts toward the utilitarian. We use people to achieve our Christian agendas. Liberals use people for their social justice agendas and conservatives use people for their evangelism agendas. You’re counting the number of people fed or the number of souls saved.

The word sacramental is used to remind us that true friendship rests in the simple “being with” others, for no other purpose than the “being with.”

And that is why friendship is a sacrament, an experience of grace.”

from “All Friendship is Sacramental” (a response to an earlier post, “How Friendship Saves the World“) at Experimental Theology

Reading Stories; Cultivating Empathy

I’ve wanted to post the link to these stories about abortion for quite some time. Today is the day, I guess. Probably because I revisited this, today, and read – “In order to encounter each other, and especially ‘the Other,’ knowledgeably, and in love, we must read and write against cognitive ease and toward empathetic exploration.”

I’ll let the author/editor introduce the collection:

“Abortion is something we tend to be more comfortable discussing as an abstraction; the feelings it provokes are too complicated to face in all their particularities. Which is perhaps why, even in doggedly liberal parts of the country, very few people talk openly about the experience, leaving the reality of abortion, and the emotions that accompany it, a silent witness in our political discourse. Even now, four decades after Roe, some of the women we spoke with would talk only if we didn’t print their real names.

As their stories show, the experience of abortion in the United States in 2013 is vastly uneven. It varies not just by state but also by culture, race, income, age, family; by whether a boyfriend offered a ride to the clinic or begged her not to go; by the compassion or callousness of the medical staff; by whether she took the pill alone at home or navigated protesters outside a clinic. Some feel so shamed that they will never tell their friends or family; others feel stronger for having gotten through the experience. The same woman can wake up one morning with regret, the next with relief—most have feelings too knotty for a picket sign. “There’s no room,” one woman told us, “to talk about being unsure.”