... we think we have chosen our peers. In reality, a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another, posting to different regiments, the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting—any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret Master of the Ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends “You have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.” The Friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of all the others. They are no greater than the beauties of a thousand other men; by Friendship God opens our eyes to them. They are,
like all beauties, derived from Him, and then, in a good
Friendship, increased by Him through the Friendship
itself, so that it is His instrument for creating as well as
for revealing. At this feast it is He who has spread the
board and it is He who has chosen the guests. It is He,
we may dare to hope, who sometimes does, and always
should, preside. Let us not reckon without our Host.
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves (1960; Harcourt Brace: 1991) 89-90.