Devotions from Stephen Smith’s book , Soul Custody
When we live only for ourselves we become alienated from others and also alienated from ourselves. Our deepest and truest self is not an isolated self but finds its meaning and fulfillment in community. In a soul friendship we die to our false self and learn the joy and grace of being accepted as we truly are. The author mentions levels of friendship that correspond to the chamber of the heart. Chamber One is the surface level of connecting to another person. Here we just share basic information about each other. Chamber Two conversations go a bit deeper. Here we share common interests and affinity. Chamber Three is where we share some of our story-good along with the bad. We try to be reciprocal in what we give each other and also receive. Chamber Four is the place that holds secrets that no one knows; our hurts, our wounds etc. Soul friendship is the journey of sharing all the chambers of our heart with all the chambers of another’s heart and discovering God in the midst of it all. Chamber 4 is the place that good friends, tested and proven friends explore together. It is the chamber that yields great rewards of personal transformation. It is challenging and requires trust, safety, and an invitation to go there. Even Jesus selected only a few good friends to share his most intimate secrets and for most of us we are able to share with only a very few too.