Friendship and Intimacy

February 23, 2014


In February 1944, when she was 13 years old, Anne Frank, a Jew who was in hiding in Amsterdam, wrote:

Today the sun is shining, the sky is a deep blue, there is a lovely breeze and I am longing–so longing–for everything. To talk, for freedom, for friends, to be alone.
And I do so long… cry! I feel as if I am going to burst, and I know that it would get better with crying; but I can’t, I’m restless, I go from room to room, breathe through the crack of a closed window, feel my heart beating, as if it is saying, “can’t you satisfy my longing at last?”
I believe that it is spring within me, I feel that spring is awakening, I feel it in my whole body and soul. It is an effort to behave normally, I feel utterly confused. I don’t know what to read, what to write, what to do, I only know that I am longing. (Quoted in Forgotten Among the Lilies, Ronald Rolheiser, p. 7)

Ronald Rolheiser quotes Anne in his book, Forgotten Among the Lilies, then goes on to say, “There is in all of us, at the very center of our lives, a tension, an aching, a burning in the heart that is insatiable, non-quietable and very deep.” (p. 7) Rolheiser heard in the longings of a 13 year old girl, the longings each of us have inside for union, for deep connection with others and with God. And he heard the confusion of sorting through those longings. That is the fire, the passion that drives us in our quest for love, for meaning and for relationship. It is a universal human need.

Bible References

  • John 15:12 - 15