Friendship’s Blade is a powerful thing . . .  its steely edge cuts far beyond flesh, deep, deeper than any blade forged in fires of the smith. Its blade does its work in the heart . . . in the mind . . .  in the spirit . . .  in the soul.

I know, for I have felt the touch of Friendship’s Blade.

A Warrior charges through my life, his sword drawn. 

This wild-eyed Warrior comes boldly . . .  his goal, to defend me.  With swiftness and subtlety, he fends off blows that otherwise might have wounded me, even ruined me . . .  A cruel word, a malicious lie – or worse yet, the truth of my own sin displayed as a verbal banner for all to see and hear – these are the blows my Warrior Friend rises to protect me from, to protect my heart. 

His love for me is no secret.  But the depth of this love is known only to three – to himself, to me, and to the One in whose army he serves.

The rise to defend is as quick as it is sure.  This soldier waits for no invitation, nor does he pause to see if another will pick up the challenge.  He knows that most attacks on the heart must be dealt with quickly, for this vessel is the most fragile of all God’s creation. 

And so, without expecting thanks for his service, or a bid from me to come, he vaults himself into battle, and with Friendship’s Blade he battles for my safe passage.

This protection comes at no small price, however.  His defense of me puts himself at great risk, even to the point of taking the blow that was otherwise meant for me.  What kind of man is this that dares to charge into danger’s way . . .  for me?  The wounds that he receives

pain him no less than they would me, and yet they do not sway his quest to defend my feeble, fragile heart.  At what point did he cross over from stranger to sacrificial lamb in my place?

And how can I ever repay such a love?

This one who carries Friendship’s Blade is a Warrior . . .  but he too serves as my Trainer, my Guide. 

It is with Friendship’s Blade in his hand that he challenges me.  Our sparring matches are no simple game.  They test me at every corner, for he better than anyone knows my weaknesses.  It is in these areas that his lance dances and prods, causing me to remember my humanity, my frailty, my vulnerability.

My friend knows well that my future will be littered with battles.

Some conflicts large, some small.  There is purpose to these drills, these tests of my will.  The steel in his eye reflects the glint of Friendship’s Blade, giving fair warning that though his heart is pure, the probing & prodding of the Edge will spare me no measure.

His journeys serve as my tutor, his battle scars as my classroom. The lessons I will learn at the point of his training will save me countless hours of pain, and protect me from wounds too numerous to mention.

His quest is not complete until this blade of blades turns once again.  Already it has served as Defender and Guide.  Battles fought and lessons taught.  In all this, my friend knows that I will not be exempt from the wounds of others, nor free of self-inflicted pains.

It is in these moments his edge becomes a Healer in my life.

The blade of a Healer is by no means painless . . .  and although its service is a valiant one, it is here that he stands to lose the most.  A Healers blade serves two purposes: to repair damage inflicted by others’ attacks, and to remove dangerous growth. 

In both, I suffer pain.  The edge of his words both comforts and consumes me, and he never knows how his healing touch will be received.  Pain causes me to lash back at times with a blade of my own. I may not believe the cancer he seeks to remove exists, or that its danger is real.  But a passion for my wholeness is his driving force, giving little thought and no heed to his own sacrifice.

Do you know the touch of Friendship’s Blade?  I do.  For that I owe a debt that I can never repay, and gratitude that is difficult to put into words.  I only know that because I have received, I can do nothing else but share my blade with others.  Have you felt its edge cross the steely edge of your own?  I have.  Through the conflicts, the classroom and the care of his blade, I am a better man.

More than that, my life will never be the same.