beyond loneliness: the gift of god's friendship (trevor hudson)

Trevor Hudson is a South African minister who practices as a pastoral therapist and a spiritual director. His writing style is extremely inviting and easy to follow, offering many open questions the draw us into the topic and make personal application the focus on the reading.

In this book, Hudson spells out the offer at the heart of the gospel: that God wants to be our intimate friend. Chapter by chapter, he lays out this simple and yet profound claim. His writing helps us, not just to see the truth in of this relational invitation at the core of Christian faith, but also to take steps towards experiencing and nurturing it for ourselves. To this end, each chapter closes with a 'friendship exercise' we can do to deepen our own experience of intimacy with God.

Rather than add my own words to this review, I will simply quote Hudson's closing invitation, written as though being spoken by God:

I have desired you into being for the sake of friendship. This is why you are here. I am closer to you than you will ever be able to imagine. If you accept my outstretched hand, we can begin to grow an intimate friendship. I want to get to know you, to reveal myself to you, and to live in communion with you. In your moments of failure and sin, let the cross always remind you that I will never stop desiring your friendship. Nothing can ever extinguish the flame of my longing for friendship with every human being. As your friend, I want us to work together as partners in making my dream real in this world. I hope and dream that all people will live in friendship with me and with one another. Do not be put off by the bigness of this calling. Begin where you find yourself. Love those closest to you. See your neighbor as someone with whom I also want to be friends. Bless all who cross your path with the blessing you have received from me. Worship regularly with my community of friends, immerse yourself together in the biblical story, and welcome everyone to my table.

Publisher: Upper Room Books, Nashville (2016)