I remember the first time I read something the great spiritual guide from India, Paramahansa Yogananda, had written, in which he spoke of Jesus Christ as his Friend. Friend—as in someone you can lean on and who loves you, who cares for your welfare—someone who’s got your back. This struck a chord deep within me, for I wanted God to be my friend. I wanted to walk through life, my arm linked with His, having genuine conversations about healing my missteps, finding my soul’s purpose, and how to know life’s deepest truths. I wanted, needed, God to be my loving buddy, not a fire-breathing, sword-wielding, sin payer-backer. Jesus did knock over the bazaar tables at the temple, because temples and churches are meant for worship, but mostly he spoke of love and peace and forgiveness. He taught, “Go about the business of your life, but carry your Father, who loves you, in your heart wherever you are.” I’ve dreamed about Jesus Christ, being a person in the crowds following Him, His words swelling my heart until I thought it would burst. I wish we understood Him better–He did not come to Earth to cause separation. I wish we better understood all the great spiritual teachings, for their messages are the same: God is Love. We are One.
Paramahansa Yogananda, a man from India, cracked open the door to my heart by introducing me to Jesus Christ as my Friend, which eventually led to my love-awakening this year, when I realized how much God loves us all, all six-billion+ of us, not one to be turned away from Love’s Home. Fear not, for God is your Friend.