Friday, October 21, 2011

Your Graying Years

STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO: Picture Praise, 10/24/11

It was the second weekend in to my ten-month stay in Russia, where I would be teaching English in a small city in western Russia. A very close Russian friend and I traveled to the "nearby" town of Voronezh - a four hour drive - to visit another friend of ours. It happened to be the 425th anniversary of the city, and we took the opportunity to see some of the sites, which most always includes the major cathedrals and churches, known throughout the world for unique architecture and symbolism.

Of course I viewed the inside, draped a scarf over my head, and stared up high into the golden filigree of the icons staring down at me, yet I caught myself wondering how many here actually know
Him. Does anyone know He truly loves, knows, seeks to uphold them?

And outside the gates I saw these two women, seemingly content in their Sunday afternoon routine, possibly selling seeds or trinkets for passersby near the grounds. It was the simplicity, after moments before experiencing the grandeur of the cathedral, that made me notice. They chose their position carefully - scarves covering their heads in a reverence that was surely routine, but also meaningful - deeply necessary. What did these women know about the God of those cupolas, the God of my life? Perhaps I would do well to learn from their faith, made stronger by lives of hardship and devastating change. And the Lord in this moment reminded me of His specific love for each one of his children - from the recent college graduate with eyes open wide to the weathered old women with eyes narrowly focused... oh, that we would be looking in the same direction.

photographer: Juliana Jordon, Russia. "I'm teaching English for the year in a small city in Western Russia."


Linda said...

I love your thoughts and questions and observations, Juliana. You are a wise young lady.

Now that I am an old woman, I cherish that Isaiah passage about gray hairs and the way God will care for us even in our old age. I've been praying that verse recently in the mornings.

Thanks for your inspiration today.


Alida said...

I love the photo and the story behind it...our time in Russia was so precious and I loved the spiritual lessons we learned from the older believers there. Thank you so much for the photo and verse!


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