I sit across from a dear friend. Fresh-brewed tea fills the air with a sweet fragrance of peaches and honey. We sip. We share. We hear the other's words. We reveal discouragements, annoyances, irritations, and joys. We trust one another to keep those things in an invisible safe space to which only we hold the key.
Would others understand if they heard us talking? Would they understand that what we say in that tiny space of time is not the whole of either of us? Do we understand that? Yes, we do.
The blessing in friendship is that we love each other without conditions. Friendship is like the tea in our cups. One is the water, the other the tea, fused together by the warmth within our hearts and the Savior we both know. Time and love creates a savory relationship we enjoy when we are together, or apart. Whether we hear from one another every day, once a month, or a year. When we return to share a cup of tea, our hearts find our bond was never separated. How could we separate steeped tea from water, anyway?
Despite the voyeuristic Reality television shows, few of us want the world to know each thought we have, or each action we take in the privacy of our homes and relationships. That is why trust is such an unbelieveable gift to another. When we give a piece of ourselves to another, it is in their possession. We trust them with who we are and all our warts and weaknesses. When we are taught to distrust, it is hard to show another the completeness of who we are. When we have been betrayed at some point in our lives, it is difficult to give ourselves to another's keeping.
What if they do to us what others have done? What if they never cared for us in the first place? What if they have their own motives for wanting to get to know us? Do we dare let down our guard?
It's hard to know the depths of another or what makes them tick, don't you think? It's like the tea-time we share. When we drink a cup of tea, we only see one side of the cup when we reach for it and turn it up to drink from its well. There is always another side we cannot see. Unless we turn the cup around and look at it from another's view, we cannot begin to know they see and how they see it. Even then, we only get a glimpse, a shadow. But at least we are looking at the same cup from the other's perspective and view for awhile.
If all we do is look at the cup from our own viewpoint, it's safe to say we'll never understand the other. It takes time for each to become familiar with the whole cup, the intricate designs, the simplicity of the other, the fingerprints, the contents. And just when you think you have the other figured out, the Lord reveals another part of them or you.