Monday, November 24, 2008

Today at Girl Scouts Margaret debuted her new hair cut.

I told Margaret I would cut her hair, but she needed to wait till it was convenient for me. Instead she agreed to allow a very willing Rose to do it for her.


Rose often jumps up with a smiley "Can I do it?" when I mention that I need to cut the boys' hair. Usually I tell her no because of the last (only) time I gave her free reign to cut hair she buzzed Max completely bald.


He didn't appreciate it.

I got fed up with Margaret's incessant pestering and insisting that the hair be done immediately. I told her to get Rose to do it if she wanted it so bad--figuring there really wasn't much damage Rose could do with a three-to-four inch cut.


Happily, Rose did quite a good job and she can receive credit for it in her Home Economics class.


Today we arrived at Girl Scouts earlier than normal, so I waited around with the leader till the door to the church was unlocked. Another car arrived and a little girl I don't know bounded up to the sidewalk positively bursting with energy.

Margaret, who is younger than this girl but about the same size, pulled off the hood of her sweater to expose the "New Margaret." The girl then screamed
"Meg! Meg! you cut your hair I can't believe you cut your hair it's so short oh my gosh you cut it argh! I can't believe it it's so short I don't like it because it's so short argh! see my hair it's so long your hair looks so weird I can't believe you cut it it looks so weird!"

Margaret, was quiet but didn't seem at all offended. I whispered to to her that her hair was pretty and she didn't need to worry about what anyone else said. She told me "I don't care," and I'm pretty sure she meant it.

When I picked her up after the meeting I subtly broached the subject again. "No," she said, "It doesn't bother me. The girl said she liked it after all. But you know what?"

"What?" I asked.

"I don't like big foreheads."

I wasn't sure then and I'm not sure now whether there is any connection between the hair-criticizer and big foreheads, but I'm glad, for my part, to record this amusing (or possibly painful) episode in her life.

She'll thank me some day.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Axios!

We returned Sunday night from Alpharetta, Georgia where our subdeacon, Columba, was ordained to the diaconate. Axios to him! He is worthy!

On the way home Fr Mark and I discussed a few things about our little church. I talked about my concerns and fears regarding our tiny, storefront church. We have grown significantly over our ten-year history, and the idea that a community even this size began in our living room is still mind-boggling to me--though
not to Fr Mark.

We have diminished at times. The loss of a single family--even a single person--is like a hatchet-blow to a sapling. Many times it is heartbreaking and requires a period of recovery, not only communally, but also personally and administratively.

The clergyman's wife has to learn quickly that there is no one to rely upon except God. While at times she can lean on her husband, it often can seem like it is
he who is the source of much of her irritation. He is, after all, the arbiter of the responsibilities which usually fall upon her back.

In our church, babies cry louder, kitchens get dirtier, space is much tighter, money is less abundant, and struggles are unique because they come from being such a small community in a small space. The source of it all, both joy and weariness, is our Lord and our devotion and work for Him and His Church--which is why humility, patience and kindness are utterly necessary.

But still these faithful come into the church, choose to stay, and very often take up these burdens with us as we struggle together toward our Salvation and the building up of His Holy Orthodox Church.

When this beautiful couple arrived at our door I was so happy they wanted to make our church their home, and then overjoyed that they wanted take upon themselves the lifelong commitment of an ordination to the diaconate. Axios!

These are the friends who not only speak, but act in service of our Lord's words:
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Throughout our brief history as a mission-church, I suppose we have been very like a microcosm of the Holy Orthodox Church and her joys and struggles throughout her two-thousand year history. It is much like the incoming tide: sometimes receding, sometimes swelling, but constantly moving forward--with power.

Glory to God for all things!
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