An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
My son used to have this infatuation with a little segment of green and white-checkered cloth, which when tied around his neck as a cape, released its super hero powers upon him. He adored it and spent a great deal of time roaming the house, ridding it of the marvel book equivalents of Osama Bin-Laden.
Around the same time he had made it a habit of getting out of bed in the middle of the night and crawling into bed with my wife and I – a habit we initially really did not mind because he’d simply go right back to sleep. But, as time went on and he grew and became more acrobatic in his sleep, it became apparent (espcecially to my wife) that the habit needed to stop.
After trying a number of unsuccessful strategies, in a moment of frustration and half-seriousness my wife threatened to take away the cherished cape until such a time that the lad chose to stay in his own bed all night. He considered the offer for a brief moment as he was climbing into his bed and then offered this rather surprising response:
“Dat’s okay mom,” and pointing at the carefully hung cape on his dresser, “I don’t like it dat much.”
I laughed out loud having the story told to me, a rich and joyful laugh that is all too much lacking in my life. I wanted to run into the boys' room and give that little super hero a big old furry-dad bear hug.
Approaching Lent now, it causes me to think about what sort of things I am willing to give up in order to "cuddle" with our Heavenly Father. To my son, the precious cape was worthless compared to the comfort and peace he derived from being in bed with his Dad, and I cannot help but wonder how many things in my life ought to be identified as worthless.