I have been contemplating lately on how most of humanity has an innate desire for love, fellowship and community in some measure. Every one has a different motive for the desire for these things. But I think that when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of it, most people NEED these things. Most of us know that we all have different personality types, some that crave the attention of many people and some that only want a few close friends. The reasons for this, aren’t really the reason I am writing this blog.
I’m writing this blog, because I don’t want to see the problem and figure out why. I want to help this need. I like fellowship and community. I definitely like to be loved and I feel good when I love others. I don’t know about you, but I am SICK TO DEATH of hearing about how we should love. I become nauseated when I see 1 Corinthians 13 copied and pasted on someone’s status, especially when I have yet to experience their love actions in my life. I’m even tired of talking about love myself and feeling that I’m not doing enough to share it to others.
Granted, I grew up in a “church” environment, where love wasn’t practiced much. That version of love was authoritarian law. I will say that everyone loved as much as they could, which I guess in a way is kind of like the widow giving away her mite. We gave as much love as we were capable of in such a weird environment. Coming out of that and dealing with yet another skewed church situation where people practiced strange versions of love, it took me awhile to get myself all sorted out emotionally. It was a rough 5 years or so. I have my opinions of what love really is, what its action looks like and what I can do to make the world a better place.
One thing that I knew is that love, fellowship and community should all walk together, hand-in-hand, sticking together when the going gets rough. I know, from my experience with other people, in my actions and reactions, from their actions and reactions, what it definitely does NOT look like. So, I guess that is a good starting point in thought and contemplation. In action, however lies a different situation. How do we take the thought and good intent of love and make it an action that affects our community and each other in a better way?
I think that it is easy to put some money into a church offering plate and call it love. It is in some measure, I suppose. However, beyond my personal beliefs on church and giving, I feel that there is more to be done. Some people go beyond this and give of their time to volunteer for various community outreaches to the poor and hungry. This is also a good thing, but I can’t help feeling that there needs to be more interaction with those around us whose faces are familiar to us, whom we have interaction and no matter how base, “fellowship” with.
I’ve talked before about how I feel the church, as well as anything labeled “Christian” such as “Christian” music or “Christian” bookstores, can be the very bushel that Jesus talks about as hiding the light. Let me reiterate for the sake of this blog and a point that I’m wanting to make here, that I believe 100% that Christians would be foolish to think that going to church service alone is true fellowship. Saying hello to your “friends” once a week isn’t fellowship and it is miles away from “community.” Fellowship should breathe more, should evoke good feelings emotionally, feelings like love and compassion and brotherhood, (if brotherhood can be considered an emotion.)
But I don’t want to go down this rabbit trail too far, because that isn’t the point that I want to dwell on too much. I just want to use that to show the need for more fellowship which should extend to community which should be exhibited by love. I feel that we, as beings with intelligence and soul and spirit, can get to know each other better. We need to stop letting things like the list below get in our way of showing that love that we so desperately want ourselves:
1. political opinion
2. what faith we practice
3. theological opinion
4. what church we go to
5. what church we do not go to
6. what people look like
7. what life choices we make
9. the list goes on…
These are all things that I’ve pondered here and there for months and even years. As I’ve healed up from all of the law, disappointment, hatred and abuse that was directed towards me, I’ve slowly gathered up my feelings on the three: love, fellowship and community. Like I said, I’ve mostly learned what it DOES NOT look like. I know that it doesn’t look like excommunication, spite, anger, gossip, cold shoulders, fear… that list goes on too. The two lists shown are walls that keep us from the very things that we innately crave the most, at least I do. I want to be loved. I want fellowship with people who love. I want to extend that love that I want and am given to the community- a payback of sorts.
I’m going to be really honest here and I’m not angry or hurt anymore- just saddened at the ratio of those who loved me when I was honestly, not loveable, because I was hurting so much and so deeply. And I can somewhat understand to some extent why some couldn’t help me more. The reason is because they were hurting too. I’ve seen myself shake the dust off so to speak and stand up from my wounding, healing up and being able to move on. I’ve seen other people recently do the same thing. I’ve also seen some people just bury the wounds and that is to their disadvantage. They will have to stop covering up their wounds with make-up eventually and really deal with the infection. Hopefully they will have someone to help them through it with love, whether I am that person or not.
Now FINALLY, I will get to the point of my blog. So, I’ve been through some tough stuff, I’ve healed up pretty well, learned what love wasn’t, will always be learning what love really is and am writing this really long and probably uncomfortable blog for you all to read. Here comes the good part: one of my steps to try to love more.
I am a very practical person, in part due to my very practical husband and in part due to my personality. However, I have a romantic side to me also. I like to build memories. I like “old” things, like antiques and collectibles. I have a passion for Jane Austen and the “old” days when people held to higher moral standards. I like that the community used to help each other out with things like barn-raisings and visiting each other over cups of tea. One thing I like the most about the past is letter writing.
When I was first married, my great-grandma Thelma, who passed away in 2003, wrote me a letter. It was written on stationary in her old-fashioned scrawl and pretty much talked about nothing particularly important. It was just to thank Eric and I for coming to visit her and about different things going on in her life. I cherish that letter as one of my keepsakes. It’s a memory I have of her, a piece of her that I can keep close to my heart, even though she has been gone almost 10 years.
In our modern day and age, a time where Facebook and the internet is our main form of communication with people we thought we wouldn’t see again, we forget how great it felt to get a letter from someone that we like or love. Don’t get me wrong, I like Facebook, because most people get on it often and I think it’s a good way to keep connected. But the old-soul part of me, wants to still get those letters in the mail. I think it’s nice to get a letter or a card in the mail with the stack of bills or junk mail that often comes. But letters and cards don’t come much anymore.
I like emails and messages- anything is nice. But there is something about seeing someone’s handwriting, an extension of their hand and personality, a portion of their thought and time and the little bit more effort of putting a stamp on an envelope and mailing it, as opposed to just pushing “send”. I like seeing what kind of stationary they like or what type of cards they send, as these are also a part of their personality. Like I said, I think that Facebook has its place, but the computer is so sterile. Give me a letter, hand-written by a friend and I’m a happy lady.
So this is what I am going to do. I’m going to write letters to whomever wants a letter from me. Just message me your address. This has NOTHING to do with my music. This is just me, Erisa Rei Kopp, wanting to connect with people on a deeper level… that FELLOWSHIP and LOVE level. I hope to hear from some of you soon.