It feels like adding a new post to my blog is somehow pushing Eric aside, allowing him to become a part of the past and allowing me to move on with my happy, carefree life. I've been nervous to write anything, but I also didn't want to dwell for too long on the sadness of losing a friend, because rejoicing in who he was and living my life accordingly seems like a much better way to honor him. So I think that I need to acknowledge him one more time in this space, and in some vague way acknowledge what I've learned through his death.
Some individuals who read my blog won't have any idea how the thoughts that follow are related to acknowledging a friend's death, but that's okay, because hopefully my thoughts will still be important and relevant to the lives of those who read this.
My husband is going to officially become a leader in the church (a deacon) this Saturday. The prospect of this is much more sobering than I expected it to be. Of course, we are both overjoyed, and it is wonderful to have people come up to us in church with congratulations and hugs and smiles, and I am so proud of him and I deem him worthy (axios!). But after seeing how power in the church can be abused, I am fervently praying that neither one of us will ever take this role for granted, or forget what it means to be looked up to by many others. Obviously no one is perfect, and we will need to own up to mistakes humbly and with repentance. There is just a part of me that fears the kind of mistakes that never go away, the kind that tarnish the lives of many forever.
I had to have a conversation with a psychologist during the arduous process that comes with the pursuit of church leadership in the Orthodox Church. All of it centered around my relationship with Mike, and whether or not I supported him in this decision. I remember telling the psychologist that I didn't want to anticipate this new responsibility with "rose-colored glasses", but at the time I don't even think I fully appreciated what that means. No, I don't want to be a complete pessimist, and go through life in fear of how we might stumble. But I'm trying to remind myself to place above all else honesty, accountability, and diligence. I find myself praying all the time for diligence. It's not enough to make a good decision or to stick to something now, I have to keep it up. I will never forget one priest's advice about how diligence is a day-to-day decision, although now sometimes I wish that I could forget.
This truly is a fallen world, but have you noticed how that makes the good stand out so much more crisply? Certainly I have known church leaders who continue to show me good, even in times when I feel I can barely find it anywhere. I pray that God will allow my husband and I to stand out crisply, as so many others have done for us.