Posted by on Jan 7, 2013 in Reflections | 11 comments

In the harmony of sounds I hear Thy call.

In the lofty beauty of music, in the magnificence of artistic works Thou art allowing us to foresee Paradise.

Whatever is truly beautiful soars toward Thee and teaches the soul to sing to Thee a victorious song: Alleluia! 

- From the Akathist of Thanksgiving

I came upstairs from coffee hour to find my daughter Mary and her cousin Janie in the Church all by themselves. Mary was perched up high on the choir director’s stool and Janie stood opposite her behind a music stand. “Come here, Mama,” Mary called. I walked over to within a few feet of them.  She urged me even nearer. “Closer, closer,” she said, until my head was only centimeters from her hand, in which was a tuning fork.  Mary struck the fork against the stand then shoved it almost inside of my ear. I could both hear the clear tone and feel it.  My whole body hummed with the vibration.  “Daddy taught me that,” she told me.

I watched them for a while pretending to be the choir. They knew more hymns than I thought they did, hymns that sounded even more timelessly beautiful than usual in their sweet little girly girl voices.

 

Sometimes…lots of times… trying to raise my children in the Faith feels like swimming upstream.  I’ve got  an awful lot going against me as a parent:  being very much a minority around here as an Orthodox Christian;  a growing societal indignation for belief in Christ, His Cross, and His Resurrection;  a materialistic, entertainment driven culture;  my own ongoing struggle with self-discipline; my own affinity for pleasing others and being liked.  There are temptations from every side to compromise, compromise, compromise. How can my message of “Above all else, love God and neighbor” be heard  above all the noise so intent on distracting my children, on distracting me? 

And then there were Mary and Jane so at home in our small parish, comforting me unintentionally with their mutual instinct to participate in the ancient worship they’ve been immersed in since they were infants, emulating  the same expression of Faith pulsating through my own veins just from showing up and showing up and showing up even when it’s hard to. I pray for them. I pray for me. I won’t give up, give in, give way to the doubts and naysaying, so help me Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Have mercy on my family. Amen.