So there was another part to the ocean blessing story, and I wanted to tell it but I think I was having a bit of heat stroke last night after too many hours in the sun. My head was pounding so I had to be brief.
Anna has been really struggling with church. Our community is wonderful, but there are no other kids and no church school. She aches for her Chicago friends.
But this weekend as we were driving to church, Fr. John explained to Anna that Paul (a tropical fisherman who scoped out beaches for the service, made the cross and found the beloved chameleon on the road) had called and asked if he knew of any girls between the ages of 4 and 7 who might be willing to dive into the ocean for the cross.
From the backseat, Anna chimed in, "I could do that!"
When we arrived at Vespers, she wanted me to tell everyone that she would be our diver. It was as if she had finally found her place in the mission community.
The night before the dive, she cried out to me in the middle of the night. I ran to her room and she said. "I had a bad dream. Are we safe here?" I reassured her that we were safe, but brought the holy water into her room and gave her a sprinkle as well. And then she said, "Tomorrow, I'm going to dive for the cross."
I'm realizing that we need find ways to make a role for her at the mission, so that she doesn't feel like we're just dragging her along, but that she is as essential to the community as an any adult--which of course, she is.
So the next day, during the many readings beside the ocean, Anna stood and waited for her turn. Finally, when Fr. John threw the cross into the water, she waded out for it. She brought the cross back to her dad, and for the first time, I think she felt that she is beginning to belong.
Posted by Jenny at 9:19:00 PM