friendship and power

I've been reading in preparation for these talks on Friendship that I'm giving in July, and I thought a good place to start would be the Bible.

The obvious story of friendship is David and Jonathan. But as I read it, I realised we should really talk about the friendship of Jonathan and David, in that order.

It's very clear from the account of their friendship that Jonathan, not David, was the mover and shaker in their relationship. He was the one who 'had great affection for', who 'took a liking to' David. He was the one who gave David gifts, initiated covenants and kept the friendship moving along.

But realistically, it needed to be that way. David was nobody - a younger brother shepherd. Jonathan was the king's son. He was the one who wielded the power, so naturally he was the one who initiated and established the friendship. For David to have done it would have been utterly presumptuous.

Power and friendship are not two words I would have necessarily put together. Can a real friendship co-exist with power? I would have thought not, but I'm changing my mind.

Now I'll have to get into the idea of being 'friends' with God. If ever there was a power imbalance in a friendship, here it is!