community…

For whatever reason several of the local people I’ve approached about Orthodoxy have been less than accessible. I get it, I do. I’m busy too. I have not returned phone calls and emails because I’m overwhelmed. Overwhelmed is not my middle name…it’s my first name. Cranky is my middle name these days.

Obviously I’m narcissistic enough to think it’s about me. I hope I grow out of this soon. I’m in my 40’s, I really ought to be able to move past the playground injuries I received in grade school. Trouble is, i simply don’t know how to read it as anything other than a snub.

And then I feel like a pouting child.

And then I feel ashamed of myself.

It’s moments like this I see once again how much I need God, how much I need this tradition that can hold me without feeding into my damage. When I’m questioned by my husband about things like “relevance” I have no trouble waving it off. I don’t wave him off, I mean that I wave off the idea of relevance. I’m reluctant to submit to a church that will abandon itself just to please the needs of the culture. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good, catchy “worship song” and I am driven to tears by several old hymns. Preach me a lovely (and short) sermon and I’ll kiss you on the lips when it strikes me deep in my heart. (I mean that metaphorically, not literally. Do I need to explain that?) But don’t call your altar a “stage” or your congregants the “audience.”  I don’t need a show, I need the church to be the church without fail, without apology, without wavering.

I’m enamored of the practice, the place, the doctrine, the liturgy, the church. I’m afraid of the family. I confess, I’m afraid of being rejected. I’m afraid that for as long as I’m a catechuman I’ll be left out, looked down upon, expected to fail. I need human input, though. For as long as I can remember I’ve known faith as being something we do with other people. I know God best in community, even as being in community is a challenge for me. I find my place, eventually in community and that is comforting. This is my aim but it’s difficult, especially now, circumstances being what they are.

I’m still at the presbyterian church with my kids on Sunday, because I need them to have a safe and steady place to find God while I’m figuring this out. Dave still has very little interest in Orthodoxy and I cannot parent yet in Divine Liturgy on my own. It’s not a risk but a certainty that when I bring the boys to Liturgy there will be great wailing choruses of ‘THIS IS BORING!” and I cannot dig it right now.

It all feels so disjointed and happenstance. I have no idea when things will begin to show some integration in my real life.  For now my faith is strong, I know and love my Creator even while He pisses me off. I trust in the person of Christ and lean heavy on the arms of the Spirit and pray the community finds me soon. The pursuit of it is daunting.

2 comments:

  1. Hey, hang in there, beloved. Let me know if the locals continue to be of no help, and I’ll rattle some freakin’ chains thereabouts. I was doing the Orthodox thing pretty much solo for about 5 years before my wonderful family joined the party. Now, we’re all puzzling why we settled so long for so much less.

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