A Parable – Los Alamos Reporter

BY FATHER THEOPHAN MACKEY
Rector
St. Job Pochaiv Orthodox Church

Once upon a time there was a pretty woman. Her hair was the color of ripe wheat in the field and her eyes were the color of the sky on a bright summer day. She was endowed with every talent under heaven: she could sing and dance, write poetry, and her laughter was contagious and abundant. She had a lively and inquisitive mind and was generous to all who knew her.

Throughout her life, she had been alternately courted and abused by her strongest neighbours. But she survived it all while keeping her good graces intact and for the most part lived in peace and harmony with them.

Its nearest neighbor was a one-man bear, large and intimidating. He once convinced her to marry him, but their marriage was rocky at best. He was brutal in his treatment of her, bossy and petty. He forbade her to use her own language, on occasion he prevented her from eating and did not let her have friendships with their neighbors whom he disapproved of. They shared the same religion, but he used it as another way to control her, even though his family had practiced the faith longer than his.

As rocky marriages often do, this one ended in divorce. It wasn’t pretty, nor was it fair. She remained his neighbor and he continued to pressure her whenever he could. Often the mere threat of his presence was enough to restrain his behavior.

But over the years, it has become more and more like its other neighbours, less reserved, more liberal, more open. But it threatened the man, although divorced, he was still in love with her, the idea that she was his. Nothing repelled her more than when she made her own decisions and stood on her own two feet. He was quick to point out any mistakes she made and immediately offered to help. However, control has always been a condition of the offer.

One day, as she stood firmly on her feet, growing more confident every day, he couldn’t take it anymore. Furious, he stormed into her house, started breaking everything he could, assaulting her and killing her children, while shouting that it was for her own good.

Neighbors could hear and see what was going on. They knew their history.

If that rings a bell, you might be paying attention to what’s happening in Eastern Europe. What happens next is up to all of us, our empathy, our sense of justice and our determination.

Saint Job of Pochaiv Orthodox Church here in Los Alamos belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the United States of America. We are under the omophorion of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople (Istanbul), just as the OCU is in Ukraine. We have family members in Ukraine, who are fighting and sheltering. We have family members who fled to safer countries. This aggression affects us.

What can we do?

First, pray. It’s not just good feelings; we believe in the power of faithful prayer. We will have a special prayer service on Saturday evening March 5and at 5:30 p.m. for the cessation of aggression, the establishment of peace and the security of all. Please attend and show your support.

Second, the pressure. Contact your representatives and let them know that you support Ukraine. Keep posting positive images of Ukraine on social media. Don’t let it fade with a new round of news, people are dying.

Third, donate. www.uocofusa.org accepts donations of which 100% will be sent to humanitarian aid in Ukraine. They have the connections for efficient disbursement.

The story can still have a happy ending.

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