"Weeping may last for a night but...
I knew that with our leaving Antioch we would be subjected to a myriad of reactions. For those who have not waded through "Why We Left...Where We Went...", we did not tell anyone we were leaving or the reasons for our decision and only sent a letter to the leaders of the church after the fact. In this we hoped to remain free of accusation that we had "caused trouble" or any such vain or false imagination. All was relatively quiet for a few weeks, then I posted the article, again to squelch any rumors by giving a measured and thorough explanation as to how we had reached our decision. Most understood the intent of the post. Others did not. Some encouraged us. Others slammed us. With the tumult of the Antiochian diocese surrounding the embattled Metropolitan Philip, the attention to our leaving seemed to die down. My family settled into a wonderful routine of prayer and seeking. We connected with a priest who has given us counsel, guidance and support on our way to the Genuine and True Churches. Lately we have been receiving through various unsolicited sources, more reaction to our leaving. A new wave of reaction if you will. For some reason the nature of these reactions worsened in their derogatory tone. There are more personal accusations, character assassinations and the like. Our new priest friend suggested that "Over time the attacks just become comical. When people go to the level of psycologizing it's especially entertaining; they will come up with all sorts of reasons why you've made the choice you did, without ever bothering to really ask you personally or dig deeper."
That aside, this is anything but a woe is me post. I have no desire to be a martyr...yet. But, considering the content of the responses, one would think that the Lewis' are the most miserable, lonely, isolated, pseudo-orthodox on the planet. One would especially think that of my wife and daughters since there is a false assumption that somehow I have forced them into subjectively making them follow me to certain unwanted paths of spiritual destruction. One of my daughters recently received a communication from an Antiochian priest telling her, "I know you are only doing what you have been made to understand. So I certainly don't fault you..." Such presumptuous remarks irk me somewhat but they particularly irk my wife and daughters who wonder how people could think so little of their ability to hear and follow God as individuals. No matter how often we say that our family came to this decision together, some must find blame somewhere, so it usually falls on me. In the words of the worst actor who ever lived, "I pity the fool" who thinks that my wife and daughters are push-overs who can't think for themselves. The simple fact is I have a wonderful, Godly wife of 29 years and intelligent God-fearing daughters who seek the truth every bit as much as I do. I am blessed.
So, I have good news for all those who think that the Lewis' must be the most miserable of souls dwelling in the depths of despair...
We have Joy!
Even with the pressure of transition and the waves of criticism, we still laugh around the house, eat our meals together, spend hours talking and studying together, watch movies, go on walks, wash the cars, walk the dog and the cat who thinks he is a dog, and laugh some more. Most of all we regularly say the prayers and worship together. The true source of our current state of joy is our hope in our Lord and the fact that we are nearing the moment of our Holy Baptism.
Joy! Joy! Joy!
Granted we aren't always happy with the situations that surround us but...
We have joy!
So, take a moment to join me in the following rendition of "I've got the joy". It will do you some good. It's not Byzantine chant but you can dance to it! (unless you are Baptist :)
...joy comes in the morning."