One of the first books I read when I was preparing to enter into the Orthodox Church was the Sayings of the Desert Fathers. When I read a book, I tend to read it from cover to cover - except for may the glossary - with that said, I read the introduction of the Sayings of the Desert Fathers. In the introduction, there was a caution that I should try to with hold any judgments I might have as the culture was very different from the culture in which I now live.
That caution was worth the price of the book all in itself.
As I continued to read 'Wounded by Love' - from the first chapter, I caught myself judging a little here, a little there. Not big judgments. . .but just big enough to help me to miss this important life lesson or that important 'gentle' nudge to my spirit for my benefit and growth.
So I backed up and pushed the flowery language aside. . . and the other things that - because of my cultural difference - were actually worth precious little in the point of life and growth.
The first half of the book is written in a very similar style to some other books I've read: First the life story in short short summary, then the nuggets of wisdom. I haven't gotten to the nuggets of wisdom, yet. . .since we're not there, yet... and it would be easy to say, "Well, this is the life summary, it's done, now I can get to the good stuff."
And then there is this statement. . .this letter of apology Elder Porphyrios writes. And in this letter of apology, Elder Porphyrios writes that he was a constant sinner and for this reason he became ill and had to leave Mt. Athos.
The last two months have been hard for me getting used to a life change that I desperately needed, but didn't quite expect to be quite so complicated. But in it's complications, it's returned some things to my life that I've resolved to abandon to 'this is how the cookie crumbles' type of thing.
Only in it, I'm finding that there was something so much more important taking those things place. I could relate to Elder Porphyrios.
With each thing I said good-bye too, there was something much more important taking its place. So important, that when I receive the opportunity to receive that something back. . . my first gut response is . . . 'no. . .thank you.'
The difference between living in Him - the One Holy Trinity and . . .living in . . me, myself, and I. . .that very unholy trinity.
When I think about this, I realize that everyone on the planet has dreams that are unfulfilled. . .undone. . .and unrealized. I have a choice, I can be wounded by them - injured. . .or I can give them to Him. . .and be loved through them to something intimate to His heart. . . and isn't knowing His heart what it's all about?
It is a good thing to leave the judgment behind and just . . .listen.