A little over a month ago, I fell into sudden silence in the blogosphere. Sorry about that.
It’s because Lent started joyfully, and determined. And then…oh, then. Then our collective Orthodox hearts broke. And again. And again.
First, we lost Father Matthew Baker, a beloved and well-known young priest and father of six, in a horrible car accident.
A little while later, we lost Father Thomas Hopko to congestive heart failure. Father Hopko was an establishment for anyone Orthodox living in this century.
And then my husband and I found out last week that the wee little Oprisko I was carrying in utero and planning to announce in a few days, had departed this life three weeks earlier. I don’t even know what I was doing on March 5. I can guess…I probably drove William to school and picked him up. Nora and I probably went over x3 math facts. It’s strange to say that I can’t even pick out one thing notable about what we did the day that little one silently left us.
Those were the big things. We had all the regular things, too, like arguments, kids losing their minds, and getting lost because the map is wrong. We, of course, had autism-specific challenges tripping us up, too. You really don’t want to know.
This Lent has pretty much kicked me in the teeth, so let’s just be raw here: I had no cute stories. I had no hopeful tales about fasting. I had no beautiful insights into the way my child with special needs sees Christ. All I had was pain. Anger. Fear.
And so I return to you at last, with this quote. That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. But it’s comfort and hope at a time when we all must gather up the shreds of what was once a shiny, hopeful Lent, and we drag it along the home stretch to Pascha. Here.
“Always remember that at the Last Judgement, we are judged for loving Him, or failing to love Him, in the least person.”–Archbishop Anastasios of Albania
Let’s finish this race, brothers and sisters. Let’s see each other, love each other, and throw the remaining pieces of our hope into the resurrection of our Lord.