We have been friends now for many years.

In the beginning there was some comparing, some jealousy, some competition. But as we grew older and became more sure in our own uniqueness, most, if not all, of this rivalry vanished, and we were more able to affirm and call forth each other's gifts. 

 I feel so good being with you because I know that you enjoy me for who I am and not just for what I can do for you. And you feel good when I come visit you because you know that I marvel in your kindness, your goodness, and your many gifts - not because they prove helpful for me, but simply because of you. Deep friendship is calling forth each other's chosenness and a mutual affirmation of being precious in God's eyes. 

Your life and my life are, each of them, one of a kind. No one has lived your life or my life before, and no one will ever live them again. Our lives are unique stones in the mosaic of human existence - priceless and irreplaceable. Being chosen is the basis for being the Beloved. It is a lifelong struggle to claim that chosenness, but also a lifelong joy. 

-- Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved [thank you for sharing this with me]

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