Trevor Hudson writes with a voice of comfort and compassion in his book Beyond Loneliness, to describe the gift of friendship that we have in God. He begins his introduction, "An Invitation to Transforming Friendship", with some statements regarding loneliness: that it "touches each one of us" and is "no respecter of age or rank", and that it "may be one of the most painful experiences that we go through in this life" (15). Then he asks a few questions:
- Do you feel lonely?
- Is there a friendship-shaped hole in your life?
- Are you open to reimagining your relationship with God as a friendship?
- Do you want to be transformed into the person God wants you to be?
- Does the possibility of starting a lifelong journey with God attract you?
- Do you long for a real experience of the living God?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, he asks that you "join [him] in discovering how to begin a transforming friendship with God" (18). He then takes the reader on a journey through the different aspects of God's friendship with each of us; the facets of it, the benefits, the determinants of its necessity. He explores spiritual disciplines such as prayer and meditation, as ways of growing closer in friendship with God, and what I found the most striking was the way that he considered what he called "Our Friend's Address Book". In other words, the friends of our friend - the friends of God. This offers an excellent perspective on the verse in the Bible which reads 40 “The
King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the
least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’" (Matt. 25:40). From Hudson's writing, "the least of these brothers and sisters" is an address in God's address book, and a location where we will be able to see and live out the Gospel in everyday life.
Nathan Foster reviews the book quite well in a couple of sentences: "There is something very inviting about this book. With the heart of a wise and caring pastor, Trevor Hudson effectively creates a safe space for us to work honestly with a topic all humans face. This book will help so many!"
Aside from a voice of care and guidance, each chapter also includes a friendship exercise and reflection to make the journey from loneliness to friendship a tangible and attainable goal.
-- Elise --
For more information on Beyond Loneliness by Trevor Hudson, visit our website here.