|Gray morning on the Black Sea|
|Batumi's Catholic church|
It was nice to go into a church that had someplace to sit. (Orthodox churches don't usually have any benches or chairs.) I set my backpack down on the back bench like a wanderer releasing a burden and sat down. The day's third prayer. This one was longer. I thanked God for the blessings that he constantly gives me -- safety, health, friends, hospitable hosts, and new adventures. I thanked him for caring for humanity as a whole since the beginning of time. Then I paused for a bit, thinking about what to pray. I continued by telling God that I have no idea what in the world I am going to do when my contract is up and I leave Georgia and it's really stressing me out. I ended by thanking him for whatever is going to come next.
|Inside the Dadiani chapel|
Growing up as a Baptist, I didn't light candles when I prayed. I think I may have a couple of times in Latin American countries when I attended a mass while traveling. Since being in Georgia, I have gotten used to lighting candles as I pray in the Orthodox churches that I have gone into. I like the symbolic smoke rising from the flame -- a picture of the prayer ascending to Heaven. To me, the flame acts like a reminder of this moment in time, representing the immediate, present words being uttered aloud, quietly, or silently. The smoke is the vehicle of the prayer to Heaven. Being a visual person, I like this physical representation of the spiritual occurrence.
Easter prayers -- thankfulness, petition, candles, quiet.
Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!