Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lost and Found

Over and over I read about how we should keep our children's crosses on them always, when they sleep, when they play, when they bathe. Well, that doesn't work with my four year old. All I can say is - right now, I owe a lot of bread to St. Phanourios! The queen first lost her baptismal cross six or eight months ago. I said prayers to St. Phanourios, and we searched the house, but as she is in the habit of removing it at random, I gave up hope of ever finding it. Then, two months ago, I was looking for something in my purse, turned it upside down, and out dropped her cross. Now, I promise you, I searched that purse many times in the preceding months, and never found it. I was so thankful, but honestly, I forgot to bake bread. Then, just 3 weeks after finding it, suddenly it was gone again. This time, I knew she had taken it off at home, and had an approximate time frame, so I had hope of finding it, and sure enough after a prayer to St. Phanourios and a good search through her room, we found it in the floor in a corner - she had taken it off after church and just dropped it on the floor. After that close call, the cross went into my jewelry drawer and I did not let her wear it for a few weeks. I also forgot to make bread. Last week she asked to wear it, and promised not to take it off herself. I relented, and she successfully wore it all week. On Friday after Thanksgiving our niece was here playing, and the girls went outside, played in the creek, jumped in piles of leaves and played dress up all day. The queen came in at one point to have me help her with her bike helmet, and there was the cross staring at me from around her neck. That little voice we rarely listen to and really should told me to take it off, but I was busy and did not want to bother with putting it away, so I left it around her neck. Sure enough, 2 hours later she came running to me - Mom, my cross is gone! I promise I didn't take it off, it fell off! Sure enough, the chain and loop were still around her neck - but no cross. Believe me, I will listen to the little voice next time! I was so upset, I made everyone stop and help search for the cross. The ground they covered that day was immense, and I just knew the cross was sitting at the bottom of a pile of fall leaves. I cried over it, and whispered a half-hearted prayer to St. Phanourios. Then, on Sunday the little princess came home from church and asked me did I know there was a saint to pray to when you lost something? I laughed and said I did. Her Sunday School teacher had lost something the previous week, and shared her experience of prayers to St. Phanourios. The little princess asked me if I had prayed to the saint, I said yes, many times! At that moment, I said another little prayer. Monday morning, while cleaning the little princess' bedroom, I was trying to close her closet doors (they are bi-fold and run on a track that does not always work well). The doors kept sticking, and I kept forcing. Finally, I leaned down to see if there was something caught in the track - there at the bottom of the track was the cross! So, thank you to St. Phanourios, for guiding me each time to the cross. Now I am off to bake bread!


Unknown said...

Glad to see a lot of people interested in giving the right education to their children...the saint of tomorrow.


Susan Sophia said...

When we became Orthodox 7 years ago this Nativity I had a 5 year old, 2 1/2 year and a one year old. Their god parents bought their crosses and HIGHLY recommended that I put them on with a cord (we used black waxed cording found at most craft stores) that was just long enough to not be tight but not too long as to catch on anything at all. They wore their crosses 24/7, never being able to remove them. They couldn't, they weren't long enough. I loved it! I felt safe doing this and have never done it any other way. They only came off when they outgrew them.

Anna said...

great idea Susan Sophia - I may have to try that! I hate to tell them they can't wear them all the time - but it breaks my heart for them to loose them (I lost my baptismal cross about 10 years ago, and it still makes me sad to think it is gone).

Jennifer said...

This is such a beautiful and heart warming story. I love it.

Personally, I've never had my boys wear their crosses. After baptism, the crosses went into my jewelry box. I simply don't trust them.

No one ever said anything to me about keeping their crosses on them 24/7.

Erin said...

My Ethiopian friends do the black cord thing and it works very well. Now we have a new dilemma. With my oldest in team sports, we're constantly having to take his cross off because of the regulations for games, and now we keep losing it because of the constant on and off. It goes in my purse at the last minute when he rushes over before the game to give it me, and then, you know the drill. I wish someone could give me some ideas about how to handle this. These days he's not even wearing it all because of this problem.