Today I walked to work again and got all sweaty on the way. I want to get my exercise, but showing up to work all sweaty sucks. Plus, we have these roll down doors that use a machine with gears and chains to open and close them, and of course, one of my doors isn't working. So, we have to leave it open, which means that when we close, we have to move all of the merchandise into another store which isn't being used right now so it will be secure. Of course, this is great fun, showing up to work and having to set up everything, and having to tear it all down at the end of the day. We used to do that on the road... hey, I'm not on the road, I'm in Alaska! Why do I still have to set up and tear down every day?! The owner of the building, Lynn, had to go fishing yesterday when the door broke, so he just told me to 'figure it out'. Ok, I tried to 'figure it out', but I'm not a mechanical engineer. Thus, my solution is to tear down and set up every day until Lynn hires somebody to fix it. That might be a long wait. I'm not trying to imply anything by mentioning that he's Jewish, by the way... but he's Jewish. He's actually a very nice guy. He knows that I'm a recent convert to Orthodoxy, and before he went fishing and left me there with the broken door, we had a really nice conversation in which he told me that he had just discovered Jesus. This is just another example of what I was talking about yesterday, in that my conversations with people tend to flow towards my baptism and the Glory of Jesus Christ. I feel blessed to be here, truly I do. I just miss St. Maximus. I can't wait until I get to visit the church at Juneau and receive communion again.
Today there was a lot of slow time again, so I used some of it to sketch a portrait of this girl who was sitting on a bench across the hall.
As you can see from the picture, she looks like she might be a little sad or somewhat depressed. So, it was slow and I was bored, so I sketched a picture of her as she sat there on the bench. There was a coat rack which was blocking my view of her, so I frequently had to stand up get get a good look, then sit back down and sketch what I remembered. Once she looked up as I was standing up, and it was completely obvious that I was standing up to look at her. I sat back down as if my butt was made of steel and the stool was a superconducting electromagnet, and I just sat still for a minute or two. I don't know why it's always so embarrassing when somebody catches you looking at them, but such is life.
Once I had finally finished the sketch, I looked up again and saw that she was gone. Damn! I was wanting to give her the picture to cheer her up. I hurried downstairs to look for her, but didn't see her. I went outside and looked up and down the streets, but no dice. She had disappeared. All I wanted was to maybe cheer her up a little, because she looked like she was having a bad day.
This morning I was really missing St. Maximus. I tried to imagine what was going on during the liturgy at certain times as I was going about my business. I imagined Fr. Justin giving the homily, the choir singing the Litany of the Catechumens, and everybody taking communion. As it turns out, I was an hour late with these imaginings, which made me miss home even more. I've thought several times since I've been here that I might have made a huge mistake, that I've landed in a den of inequity, but then something will happen that reminds me of God and how He is in my life, even way up here on Mars, and I'll take heart again. Not having my prayer book was discouraging at first, but then I just started saying the Lords Prayer and reading the Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem. I have Leah to thank for that, because she wrote it down for me a year ago and I've had it in my wallet since then.
I miss you:
And all of the parishioners at St. Maximus.
Pray for me please, I'm praying for you guys.