28.4.06

The love of men - Jesus Army Life, Day 277

The love of men is a beautiful thing. (Cue unnecessary suspicion about my sexual orientation.) There is something undiscovered, something strong, something beautiful, mysterious, powerful about loving other guys.

King David wrote a song of his covenant love for his friend Jonathan. He said,
Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.
2 Samuel 1

People conclude that this is a quote suggesting homosexuality too, but it was a lyric from a lament which the king taught the whole tribe of Judah - not the kind of thing you confess as upcoming ruler of a strictly heterosexual culture. It was the grief of a man who'd known the kinship of a true friend.

I don't know if the love of men can be better than the love of women. I'm not sure I've had the privilege of that uniquely feminine blessing, maybe once, maybe. But lately I have known the wearying experience of longing for my brother's good. Of just simply caring because nothing else will penetrate that stubborn defensive veneer. I've known the frustration of seeing a friend's life go down the plug hole and the tearful anger when others don't seem to care. I've known fathering, not only from my own Dad but that cherished sense of duty towards a man whom you can't but respect. I've known the camaraderie of friendship which fights for you when you can no longer fight, friendship that speaks out on your behalf, friendship which has sworn fealty with every choice he made (and it still surprises me).

And last night, I received a hug from a lad who's only been coming round a while. I'm not sure I've ever seen him hug anyone, but that simple touch spoke volumes, and it put a spring in my step for the rest of the evening. It told me that he was on board, he was into brotherhood and the sacrificial love which Jesus himself pioneered. You see, it said that he had seen the beauty of Jesus' Kingdom and it made me roar with delight.