The focus on Valentine’s Day is to celebrate romantic love, that of couples who have found their soul-mates. I am forever thankful that I found mine. Yet love is so much more. It encapsulates everyone past or present who has leant meaning to my life by their support, their encouragement, their presence and their protection. I think of family, of grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, siblings and cousins – those with whom we share a common kinship. I think of friends who’ve been there for me in times of fun and times of angst in shared companionship. And in this new chapter of my life, I think of the many people in the writing world that connect with me as we share this journey.
When I reflect on those who have helped me by pointing the way, names and faces flow through my mind. And with each one, a warm fuzzy arrow melts into my heart. In the Christian writing world, the connection has deeper roots. We share a common desire to use our God-given talents to encourage, inspire and educate. We see our writing as a calling, a mission, a responsibility to make the most of what we’ve been given for universal good, not for personal success. Not that success is unwanted, but having the peace of mind that even if worldly success is not achieved, we can still face God one day as a “good and faithful servant.” Because of this common connection, the commitment to share each other’s writing burden and enjoy each other’s success is based on Christian love.
Each time I read a useful blog on the writing world, a forwarded link to informative research, a response to another writer’s request for help, I witness the love Christian writers have for each other. I am incredibly blessed to be part of an awesome critique group, people I didn’t even know a year ago. Kiersti, Sarah and Sandra have been more than fellow-writers; they have been prayer-partners and friends. Yet, whether we know each other personally or not, we identify with the goals and challenges other Christian writers have and want to do what we can to provide support. As a recipient of such support, I am deeply thankful and moved to be a member of such wonderful company.
And so, on this Valentine’s Day, I want to thank all of you writers who are there for me, whether you know it or not, for all the help you’ve given me and are still giving me along this pathway of my heart.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 NIV