It has been labeled a ‘hate crime’.
As you can see in the photo we were told to ‘get out now’. Not tomorrow, or next week, or next month… but get out now. The F -bomb was painted right next to the command for us to leave, and to top it all off an upside down cross was painted on our door. All this love given to us from a kid who lives in a sleepy little rural town with no traffic light called Dorr. In the scope of things spray paint gets painted over. No one died, was hurt, harmed or martyred for the faith, and unlike our brothers and sisters who are being murdered around the world for Christ, we only received black paint on a corrugated tan tin building. But let’s not forget that each and everyday Orthodox Christians in Egypt, Syria are spilling red blood on black pavement with another kind of hate crime. Theirs is the real story.
The young person who composed the message was just apprehended by the police over the weekend. Our priest will visit with him and his parents this week. Perhaps what this young person intended for harm may actually work for his or her good? Perhaps the grace and love of our Priest will help him experience mercy, perhaps he might meet Orthodox saints like St. Isaac Syrian and learn the wisdom of the ages – and the beauty of the Orthodox way? We can only hope. We can only pray. In the mean time however, you and I, can adopt the way proposed by Isaac of Syria below, the way of Christ Jesus, and reveal this life to him…
More than words spoken to a world whose ears are filled with so much noise… what is written below must be written on our hearts, and seen in what we do, and how we live. And then, and only then, we will begin to experience what every beauty pageant wanna be winner wants: peace on earth.
“Let yourself be persecuted, but do not persecute others. Be crucified, but do not crucify others.
Be slandered, but do not slander others.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep: such is the sign of purity.
Suffer with the sick.
Be afflicted with sinners.
Exult with those who repent.
Be the friend of all, but in your spirit remain alone.
Be a partaker of the sufferings of all, but keep your body distant from all.
Rebuke no one, revile no one, not even those who live very wickedly.
Spread your cloak over those who fall into sin, each and every one, and shield them.
And if you cannot take the fault on yourself and accept punishment in their place, do not destroy their character.”
St. Isaac the Syrian