Elina Pelikan is a writer and photographer who lives in North Carolina.
This picture brings tears to my eyes. If I have one wish for my children, it is that they grow to love Christ and His church. How can they not? The services are so beautiful, and Christ is love, after all.
Sometimes, though, when the services are extra long and my patience is extra short, I worry… Standing still and being quiet is tricky business for a small child. Down at their level, they see a lot more walls of people’s backs and a lot less of the intricate dance of liturgy.
This last weekend was the St. Emmelia Homeschool Conference at Antiochian Village in Pennsylvania. It was a marathon of driving, getting children to sessions, and working out the business of all sleeping in one room, but coupled with the exhaustion of the effort is a deep refreshing inspiration from speakers and new experiences.
In the picture, you see my middle girl, a shy and sweet princess of a child who doesn’t much like large gatherings or new people. Her first day, she wouldn’t go to Bishop Thomas for a blessing at all; she watched him warily as he blessed her from afar.
The second day, she stood back hesitantly, and he invited her to kiss the lovely golden icon on his pectoral cross. She came to me with bright eyes and a smile after. The bishop spoke of the importance of bringing these precious small ones into the church, that they grow to love being within her storied walls. This picture gives me hope, and I am reminded of how thankful I am for weekends like these, and holy men like Bishop Thomas.
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