Writer of Soul-Searching Snark


Fel·low·ship   [fel-oh-ship] noun
1.the condition or relation of being a fellow: the fellowship of humankind.
2.friendly relationship; companionship: the fellowship of father and son.
3.community of interest, feeling, etc.
4.communion, as between members of the same church.

During all my time dealing with Facebook, I’ve only “unfriended” one person. He’d rant and rave about numerous topics and I simply ignored him until the day he damned all homosexuals to hell and I could tolerate his ignorance no more. One click and he was no longer my friend.

I do remember one tirade he was on regarding the word “love.” He said that people saying it all the time weakened its meaning. He also stated that loving friends isn’t the same as loving family. To which, I declared bull poop. I couldn’t begin to comprehend someone believing that love could be weakened. I disagreed on so many levels my head hurt.

First of all, wouldn’t the world be a much nicer place if everyone loved instead of hated? Ruth Burkett Weeks discusses universal love in her book, Soldiers From the Mist. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when life is approached through eyes of love.

Secondly, are you kidding me? I love my friends. There’s no distinction between the love I feel for my friends and the love I have for my family. None at all. I’d do anything for my family and I’d do anything for my friends. I realize I’m blessed to have such dear, kind, generous people in my life and I’m going to treat them with the respect, kindness and love they deserve.

Yeah, I know what the heck does all of that have to do with fellowship? Well, let me tell you. On Saturday, the Northwest Arkansas Writers Workshop had their annual Christmas party at the home of the lovely Linda and Neal Apple–a community of folks with a common interest. I looked around the room filled with fellow writers and felt at home. Like I belonged. My heart filled with happiness. I’m not related to a single person in the group, but it felt like family to me. These folks get me. They accept me for who I am. Many know me better than anyone in my family does–and they still like me! It doesn’t matter that there’s no biological connection. They are family.

So, once again I thought about the person who said that bantering around the word “love” weakens it and it saddened me. I hope one day he discovers that love, family and kinship have nothing to do with bloodlines and DNA, but everything to do with acceptance, caring and fellowship.


Comments on: "Fellowship" (23)

  1. What a beautiful post, Claire. Amen to everything you said.

  2. Funny, Claire. I just finished writing an email to a friend where I said the very same thing you said with these words: “These folks get me. They accept me for who I am.” It’s nice to be surrounded by folks who “get me.” 🙂 Thanks for a great post!

    • And Jan, you’re so wonderful to “get.” You always make me dig deep and find those emotions that have been buried by years of cynicism. It’s greatly appreciated!

  3. Okay, you made me cry!

    The only weakness with the word is that in the English language there is only “one” word for love, and that is “Love.” The Greeks have many words for love. My favorite word is Agapao, and it means to love without conditions. That is how we all should love. When I have bad days and say or do stupid things, I’m so grateful for loving grace from my family and friends!

    Claire you are beautiful inside and out. I do love you!

  4. mgmillerbooks said:

    It’s weird how you can just have met someone a few months ago and feel like you’ve known them all your life. That’s how I feel. More family than family. Ya’ll are the relatives that “get me”. 🙂

  5. We must have compassion for the man who believes saying, “love”, too much weakens the meaning. I’m guessing that he deduced his belief from the way he was raised…and never challenged himself to look deeper. Love is a verb, as well as a noun. There’s nothing weak about showing love…to others, animals, and nature. And, after all, this is the season of love. ~Linda Joyce

    • Yes, Linda you’re right. In a post that talks about love and acceptance, I have to love and accept my unfriended friend’s views as well. It does make me sad that he doesn’t understand that love only grows when given freely. I accept him for who he is, but I can’t condone his hurtful and hate-filled opinions of others. I hope one day, he discovers that love is way more powerful than distrust and prejudice. That’s one of the reasons I love you. You always make me think about a situation from all angles. Thanks!

  6. Great post.
    Amen, sister!
    And, yes Linda, I did remember to throw my hands in the air in praise.
    An old friend asked me last week what I like best about NW Arkansas and I said, “My friends.” It almost like I was led right here to these very people.

    • Pam, I’m so glad you’re here. Divine providence did play a hand. I can’t imagine life without the Redneck Goddess. You’ve made my life so much richer and I appreciate your friendship!

  7. Duke Pennell said:

    Again you prove your worth as a writer. It’s easy to mouth platitudes about friends and love, but you find ways to make us all feel what’s in your heart. Thanks!

    I know what you mean about people who get you. When I’m with all of you, I’m home. What else can I say?

    • Thanks, Duke, you always say the nicest things. I bet Velda and Dusty had no idea they’d be adopting so many children back when they started the group.

      • Yes, Yes, YES! Very good! Hubby told me once that saying “I Love You” all the time made it just words. Not surprisingly, I don’t hear it from him near enough. He figured that you should SHOW your love, not proclaim it. The problem with that is people have different ways of expressing their love and may not always read your code. Maybe this guy’s code reader is malfunctioning? I worked for 30 years at one company and I considered my co-workers family. We adopted a baby in 1980 and we consider him family – that has nothing to do with DNA! What’s the dif?

        • Linda, you’re so right. Adopted children aren’t biologically linked to you as a parent, but that doesn’t mean you love them less. My mother ascribes to the saying “I love you” is just words philosophy. There’s no doubt in my mind that she loves me. She shows me every day, but it never hurts to hear it on occasion, you know?

  8. Just as we don’t always agree with family, we don’t always agree with our friends. That does NOT mean we stop loving them! Agapao is a word that I like very much, it is a sad state of affairs that English is such a stilted language. I love and miss you.

    • You’re right, Paula, English does have its limitations. It’s important to be forgiving. I agree that even when you disagree with someone that doesn’t mean you stop loving them. love and miss you too! You were my bright, shining hope when I lived in Barrow.

  9. I believe that love multiplies under nuturing conditions. Expressing our love is a way of feeding this emotion. The only way you can lessen love is to ignore it.

    I had a great time Saturday as well. My life is so much richer because of the connection with all my writer friends. I love you all.

    • Russell, wise words “The only way you can lessen love is to ignore it.” I can’t imagine ignoring love–seems impossible to me, but I know folks who do. Of course, the only way i know how to deal with folks like that is to wrap them in a hug and love them more, which is a wasted effort.

      Thanks for your awesome music on Saturday. It made the Christmas party that much more enjoyable.

  10. Well, what I can I say that hasn’t been already said?
    Every night before falling asleep I tell God what I’m grateful for. My writing freinds are second only to blood family. Yes, I have other freinds that I am thankful for, but my writing buddies, “get me” like you said. AND accept me, just like you said. I can’t imagine my world without Claire Croxton, aka Patty, Gypsy Jan, BigFoot Pam, and Wise woman Linda in it. How boring it would be! and how lonely I would be without them and all my wriiting family. Thursday night crique group saves my sanity. Without this family I would go off the deep end. Thanks, Patty, you hit the nail on the head. Love you!

    • Hey Ruth, love you too! The Boogerettes although not blood relatives are close to my heart and provide a safety net for writerly breakdowns. Something no one in my family can comprehend. Like Pam, I feel that I was led back home to Arkansas to find my writer family.

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