Sunday, June 5, 2011

Church Today

Today at St. Nicholas was as complex as a day can be. I knew I wanted to be there, even if it meant taking all 4 children on my own knowing they were on their worst behavior. Once I arrived and walked into the church, I wished I had not come.

Everything about the place is relevant to Karl and our plight as a family. I felt instantly lost in the vastness of the world, a world in which people just die sometimes. A world where two people who are soul mates and have 4 beautiful children can be separated in an instant. I felt no sense of comfort- rather the opposite. And I know its the truth. Who am I to expect miracles or special treatment?

What is happening right now has changed our lives forever. We just don't know how profound this change is yet. I pray that we will just have to learn to live differently, together.

A man at church, Nikola,  encouraged me to 'pray confidently to Theotokos." I admit I don't understand. How can I pray confidently, knowing with my mind the hard fact that many people have prayed before me and still they have lost their husband, father, everything? I can pray, but not confidently. The sad, knowing icon eyes look beyond me. I am unable to meet the gaze, because I know this is true.

So I stood in the church, minding my children as I could, and cried. The whole time, I could not help it. I watched and heard and felt while tears streamed down. I did my best to stay present. And you know, it was good.

Then lunch came around. Everyone had seen me crying, some had heard from Father Stephan. Everyone wanted to know and I told them, bursting into tears anew with each telling. You know, it is very embarrassing to cry like this in front of near strangers. Mixed feelings, absolutely. But in the end I felt so clear and refreshed. I am so grateful for my day.

Several people come to mind when I think of the bright moments of today: a man named Mark, who removed his hat and prayed in another language when I told him about Karl. the beautiful family of Alina, Luben and Irene, who came close to me and reassured me more than once during the liturgy and after. my dear friends the Garzas who are just perfect and somehow watched me act like a child and still love me, and Mr. French who told me "People love you when you're down and out. I do."


  1. Tabitha - sending you hugs. I've been praying for all of you, especially Karl. I lit a candle for him yesterday at Liturgy and Father is praying for him too.

    I remember how hard it was to look at the icon of Christ in church after Innocent died. He seemed to be looking at me so sadly. We will continue to pray, asking the intercessions of the Theotokos and all the saints. As far as 'praying confidently', it's different from the "name it and claim it" protestant gimmick. We are confident in God's love and goodness, no matter what happens. This thought did not give me happiness, but it gave me peace and security.

    And tears are healing. It's ok. I'm so glad you have a loving church family around you. I wish I were close enough to be able to help with meals or child-care.


  2. Have been praying for Karl. Had a really restless night and used the time to pray for Karl, and you and your children. We can only put him in the hands of God's mercy. Hugs from me to.

  3. Dear sister in Christ, I have not forgotten either, we prayed for Karl in the liturgy at my church here; my priest prayed for him in the Altar. Sorry I could not comment earlier but I had not forgotten you and this situation. Please keep us posted. I am going to do special prayers for Karl too and will keep my icon to the Theotokos lit for him and you and your children. This must feel so incredibly hard and we often feel so alone in our struggles but you are not alone and I want you to know that. You are NOT alone. God, the Saints, your church and even us via blogs are with you. Much love in Christ, Elizabeth


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...