Looking over the Orthodox Blogosphere, our once swarming horde of posters has receded like an ebb tide. Perhaps many have tapped their keys along the way of completing their transformation… or at least the molting of their old skins… and fulfilled their initial phases only to move into deeper waters. Perhaps others have found, that sticking in the uncomfortable middle between one life and another perpetuates a vulnerability they’d rather pass beyond. But whatever it is that thins our ranks, withdrawal for a space yields much fruit at times.
But consider that for each of us, there comes a moment in conversion that, like the Apostles in the Upper Room, leaves us quietly shut away in our own Upper Room, We may wait patiently engaging in some measure of worship, prayer and sharing in the spirit of the Church, or we may wander off to Emmaus… as though we had something that drew us out ahead of time… as though there were one more glance, one more visit where Christ would manifest Himself before our full immersion and the illumination of the whole of our hearts.
No matter which we choose, ultimately we return to that space and wait for His initiative to give us a calling that serves His purpose rather than our own. Whether we know this is what we’re about or not, my guess is there’s something of this sort going on – all the time. For my part, some of my writings indeed seem little more than the writhings inherent to discarding one’s old, wornout dry skin… and a bit of discomfort with the soft, moist, suppleness of the new. Guess the pains and agonies might have been better shielded from the eyes of others, huh?
So I’ll make no claim to complete healing in my case; far from it. Perhaps I’m less annoying, less annoying to some, or just annoying different folks with new “tools”. But there’s hope for “progress”, though considering I’d prefer not burden anyone… one of the side effects is that surely we burden our priests whose ministrations must amount to more of a public service and bearing of the cross than anyone can begin to imagine! Thanks for listening guys! My bad.
So perhaps the collective pause across Orthoblogdom simply reflects the maturity among us to know that no matter where we head or what we do… someone bears the burden of our misdoings… even if it’s only listening to them and wondering, “Will this guy ever shut his trap?” Ultimately… stillness descends upon us, upon our fingers and our lips… not because we’re “better”, but because we’re not… and we’re more and more aware that even our repentance risks becoming another self-absorption burdening others. Surely, as Yul Brenner’s “King” would have put it, “Eeeez puzzlement!”
But if it’s a puzzlement, then perhaps that’s the moment that the saving wind of Pentecost descends on us and ushers us back out in the world to save us from ourselves. “Get busy! Get out there and busy yourselves about the needs of others! and enough of yourselves! One more prayer for ‘your vocation’ and I’m gonna have to let someone have it. If I want you to have a vocation… I’ll give you one. Meantime… get out there and get busy! Let’s figure the rest out as it comes!” And so they went, their lives picked up again, God even gave them the words to speak so they wouldn’t wander off spending days and days wrestling with those… and here we are… ready to do pick up our own lives as well. Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory to Him forever!