Thursday, October 19, 2006

My Supernatural God

This is slightly tmi, but worth sharing for what I realized afteward. I had a bit of spotting yesterday. Not the kind to be alarmed about according to my packet from the doctor. But I worried, nonetheless and felt a littel crampy. I experienced the same thing with my daughter about the same time in my pregnancy with her. So Hannah and I were getting ready for the day and she pointed to a little booklet that Jason had borrowed from our friend Matt. It's about the Ever Virginity of Mary. On the front of the booklet is a little icon of the Theotokos holding Jesus. As Hannah pointed to it, she said, "Jesus." It was sweet how matter of factly she said it. It surprised me because I never taught her that. The only time I have showed her "pictures" of Jesus were from a litte Bible story book, where he looks like a white man surfer. And she has seen a nativity that she knows the baby is Jesus, but he is in a manger. How she made the connection, I am not sure. The same icon is at the church, but I have never pointed it out to her.

I had already said a little prayer about what I had been worried about, but I thought I would say an Orthodox prayer from my prayer book. I chose one to pray for children. And then it occured to me that it would be ok to ask a saint and friend of God to pray for me. So I asked Mary because I knew she was a mom.

This subject has been so taboo and much of it I have felt before I ever read anything in Orthodox teachings, was just hocus pocus to me. My prior understanding of Mary was so distorted by what I had seen in the Roman Catholic church and how they have deified her, and then having the polar opposite modern Protestant view that takes away any due respect that she was special at all (she was just a regular mom who happened to say yes to God and gave birth to him). But when I realized that the saints are more alive now than when they walked this earth, and that they are always praying for the church, it opened my mind to the idea that it was acceptable to ask saints to intercede for us.

For what it was worth, I just asked Mary to pray for my little baby and that I would stop spotting. I imagined the prayers that go into heaven like incense in beautiful scrolls and that mine looked like a post it note. But after that, there was no more spotting at all and I felt better. Thank you Jesus!

I still feel a little weird about this, but it reminded me that God, after all is supernatural...something my practical, rationalizing, Protestant trained mind made me forget. Sure I would thank God for a parking spot in a crowded lot. Things have worked out for me in situations that seemed hopeless. But overall, my faith was quite stale. And I never expected anything more.

I still know I have my direct line to Jesus. I pray all day off and on to him. But sometimes, I don't know what to pray, or my prayers have selfish motives. The last thing I want to say is, "Thy will be done." And other times, I just can't devote myself to prayer continuously, (the amount of prayer I probably need) and I get so distracted. So it's comforting to know that there are people in heaven whose job is praying for us. Holy moly! I'm sounding so not Protestant.

I was thinking more about Hannah knowing about that icon, and I thought about something James said in his blog Paradosis. He talked about how children are born to have the Lord in them. It's our job as parents to keep them connected to the faith. So different from what I took from the evangelical teachings that children were born to have sin in them and it was our job as parents as to teach them and introduce them about the faith - something I could never quite grasp since, while demanding as they are, they are so wide eyed and accepting of Truth. And what about the whole "faith like a child" thing that seemed to contradict that teaching. So my sweet, innocent daughter pointed me to Jesus - and Mary. Amen.


Blogger Thomas Ham said...

I hear so many stories of Children being a huge motivator towards a families acceptance of the Churches teachings. Another huge help for many parents are autistic children. We have about three parents that are apalled at their autistic childs love of the Church and how much they truly understand! I'm amazed at the stories I hear.

7:22 PM  
Blogger annie said...

Thank God for His mercy and love for you and the child in you. Thanks for sharing and being so honest. It's really neat to read your journey in the faith and yes, you are sounding very orthodox these days. : )

3:38 PM  

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