The divine is the determining element in our humanity; losing our sense of the divine, we lose also our sense of the human.
~ Bishop Kallistos Ware
I cannot help but feel that Bishop Ware’s words are apt for this time of year. The season becomes increasingly secularized, our society ever more consumer driven (which makes me think consumption, and do we realize how we’re being consumed by these unhealthy, unrealistic, unsustainable appetites?). The stress that comes with the Christmas, or as one of my friend’s calls it, the holidaze, has become a common joke. And I am guilty of succumbing to it. Case in point, this was taken from a local strip mall, on my iPhone, after leaving a movie with my son. Some one on one time with mom (that would be me) so he and his younger sister could have a detente. As an only child sibling rivalry constantly baffles me so this detente was for my sake (one of the many blessings of my mom coming up for Christmas) as much as for theirs. Who knew 2 1/2 hours of watching dwarves, elves, orcs and the like battle it out could be so fortifying.
It was 5:30 when we left and there were these amazing ripple clouds in the sky, my iPhone did a crappy job of capturing this. Still, grainy iPhone photo be damned, I’m so grateful to God for allowing me to see and appreciate the beauty in this world, and the goodness in others. I know that I frequently fall short and can easily become overwhelmed by the noise in this world, yet He still lets me in. I’m so unworthy. Yet He will still let me in. I never thought I could find joy in describing myself as unworthy. There are a lot of words that shut me down when I initially started reading about Orthodoxy. Unworthy. Repentance. Sinner. Even mercy threw me. But, there’s trying to make sense of it all with your head, and then there’s letting go and opening your heart. It’s not easy for me. But I don’t have to do it alone.