Sometime after midnight, I felt a small hand shaking my shoulder. “Mom,” whispered a sleepy-faced Mary, “Priscilla needs you.” I walked, or more accurately, stumbled into the girls’ dark bedroom and found my ten-year-old in tears. “What’s going on, babe?” I asked, while running my fingers through her static-y hair. “I don’t know,” she sobbed, “there’s all these yucky thoughts in my head.”
Earlier in the day, I’d found a library book in her bag that I thought looked scary, like ghost story scary. And being overly sensitive myself to all things frightening, chilling, bloodcurdlingly suspenseful (Junior high sleepovers, which in the 80’s inevitably involved VHS tapes of Freddy Krueger or axe wielding cheerleaders, were literally nightmarish for me as a queasy twelve-year-old), I immediately suspected it had something to do with her agitated state of mind.
“Sweetheart,” I said, “Your brain is like a sponge, absorbing everything you read, watch and listen to. You and I, especially, because you’re a lot like your mama, have to be careful about what we allow into our heads and hearts. Saturday morning, let’s go to the library together and find some good mystery/adventure/fantasy books that aren’t quite so creepy. “ She nodded tearfully and laid back down. I rubbed her feet until we both fell asleep.
We Orthodox Christians are in the midst of a Nativity Fast. It snuck up on me this year and I’ve been having some difficulty getting into the less gorging, more praying swing of things. I think the fact I’m struggling so is an obvious indication I could use some serious refocusing on what is pure, lovely, noble, true. “Allow Me to nourish you,” offers the Church during Advent. And it is solely up to me to either accept or reject Her invitation.
I’m hungry. What will I choose presently, right now, to fill me? My peace is at stake and my impulses are raging. It requires effort to seize the moment. Lord, help me seize the moment! I cannot hear You when I escape into the noise. Please take from me my fear of sacrifice and silence, Oh God who lovest, and is ever merciful to, forgetful mankind.
Do you have a photo or reflection on nourishment to share? Please link to your site in the comment section below. In honor of Thanksgiving, next week's The Way I See It theme will be: Gratitude (which I will most likely post on Monday).