Today: January 16 2019
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God is closer than we think

God is closer than we think

Tags: Religion, Christianity

This story, told by a woman agitated by a personal grief, struck me to the depths of my soul.

In her once-happy family, a discord suddenly broke out, destroying the relationship with her husband, with whom they lived together for more than a decade. Life with a husband who, in the captivity of a passionate passion for another woman, simply stopped noticing her, sometimes only pronouncing another portion of unpleasant words in her address, and the experiences of the children finally broke the spiritual strength of the woman. And one day, feeling that she could no longer stay at home, she went to the park nearby in the evening. Not being a person votserkovlennym, but being in a strong emotional excitement, she with all sincerity said in the heart: "Lord, help!" ... After a while with a sidelong vision, she noticed a woman passing by, similar to her appearance in appearance, a nun. When she was already far behind, my storyteller felt an inexplicable desire to talk with this unusual woman, tell her about her grief. She turned and caught up with her.

She asked the companion, who so comforted her in the mountain, about the name - and heard: "Paraklita"

As this woman later recalled, they sat with her on a bench in the park until late at night. Her new companion surprisingly found words that for the first time in a long time could instill peace and quiet in their souls. Then a new car was next to her new acquaintance, and she took the woman home. Before the farewell, the latter even asked if it was a miracle - their meeting? To which the companion only smiled. Finally, leaving the car, my storyteller asked how her companion's name was. In response, she heard a strange and incomprehensible name: "Paraklita" ... After coming home, they began to search for her on the Internet, which means this name, and were amazed: "Comforter" ...

To a church man this name is familiar, but rather in his male version. "Paraclete", that is, "Comforter", we call the Holy Spirit of God. However, in the saints we will not find such a male or female name. That is, even in our monastic environment there are no people with that name! We meet him in the life of St. Maxim the Greek, when he was unfairly accused, imprisoned in the Volokolamsk prison and underwent various abuses. One day the saint was comforted and encouraged by the Heavenly Messenger. The angel who appeared to him said: "Endure, old man!" In memory of this consolation the Monk Maximus charcoal wrote on the walls of the dungeon the text of the Canon to the Divine and adored Holy Spirit Paraclete (Comforter) ...

It is difficult to say who exactly was the mysterious consoler who, in time and with such an amazing power of appeasement, entered the life of a grief-stricken woman. However, it is quite clear that this meeting was a manifestation of the mercy of God, His answer to the sincere questioning of a wounded heart. By the way, the next day my storyteller went to the same park and tried to find out anything about her companion, but the regulars of that place said that they had never seen such a woman.

God's answer was clothed in the form of everyday life: a meeting in the park, a conversation, a car ...

I was struck by this story, not so much even by the fact of the amazing consolation bestowed by God, for it is not completely unexpected for a believer. I was struck by another - how this answer of God was clothed in the natural form of everyday life for us: meeting in the park, intimate conversation, car. If you do not take into account the circumstances in which the described meeting occurred, then in everything else it is quite ordinary, there is nothing supernatural in it that captivates with its unusualness. If it were not for the amazing name uttered at the end of the conversation, then my storyteller would not, so perhaps, directly relate what happened to God's help. However, it is this tranquility, the "naturalness" of the amazing help of the Creator that amazes most. They amaze and make me look at my life: after all, and on my way, there was probably not one such meeting, a "confluence of circumstances," which perhaps I did not attach much importance to, but behind them was God's right hand, His mercy.

It seems to me that this is one of the most important problems of the Christian life - the ability to recognize the Lord acting through the most natural circumstances, visiting us in the most ordinary situations. This is an experience, if I may say so, of a gospel meeting with Christ. After all, if we imagine a meeting of the apostles, the ordinary people who lived in the time of the Savior, with the Son of God, it will be just such a meeting with the "ordinary man", in whom still remains the force of faith to recognize the Messiah who appeared in the world! In fact, this "evangelical task" faces us today: to recognize the Lord in the ordinary course of our life, to get to reality through the screen of changeable reality. It is in this image that the Savior came to us - an image of compassion, calling for the small for the sake of gaining the great; to the feat in the ordinary for the sake of acquiring the treasure of the imperishable.

Priest Roman Savchuk
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