Christian friends are a gift from God, even when there is conflict in the relationship. God uses conflict to chip away the (many) ugly spots from our character. Occasionally though God gives us a glimpse of the oneness of heart that we will not enjoy perfectly until heaven.
Saturday's VOM team meeting was such an event for me. During the meeting, we also threw a surprise birthday party for two teammates. They are probably the most scholarly of our group (one is a Yale graduate and the other is an E.R. doctor). But they didn't seem to mind being "roasted" by those of us who are less educated.
Here's a video with the highlights of the party. (Please pardon my poor filming!)
How good and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in unity!
--Psalm 133:1 (NIV)
This kind of unity is one great need of the persecuted church. The pressure of persecution can just as easily drive people apart as bond them together. And there aren't many believers for them to choose from. They can't just go down the street and join a different church (like we tend to do). Lord Jesus, bless our brothers and sisters with good friendships. And when no one is there to comfort them, may they know Your presence in a greater way.