I Believe in LIFE
I believe in Life. As an Orthodox Christian, my belief is both personal and corporate. It is personal in the sense that I ‘own it’ and try to live it. It is corporate in that it can and is shared with Saints AND sinners like me in the Church through the ages.
My belief in Life affects everything about my own life. I serve as full-time Chaplain for OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship) at the U.S. Naval Academy and St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. As a Chaplain, I have witnessed the vital difference that belief in Life makes to the students and faculty to whom I minister. Every soul, every human being I meet is loved by God, the Author of life, and this means that I must value and strive to love everyone I meet—those who love me and those who hate me—yes, even those who reject Christ’s Gospel, and me, His minister.
My belief in Life is not some pious sentiment. My belief has changed the way I see and respond to the world around me. Through it I’m learning to see the image of God in every person. Whether black or white, male or female, young or old, Atheist or Christian, Jewish or Muslim, they are in some sense all ‘connected’ to me. I am ‘my brother’s keeper.’ Everything I do or don’t do to value that person I meet at this hour on this day impacts the world around me for better or for worse.
I meet students struggling with suicide, alcohol abuse, parental abuse and neglect, and the confusion often associated with college life and life choices. My belief in Life gives me empathy for the hurting, the lost; it makes me human. It calls me to strive to become what humanity is meant to be. My belief in Life holds me accountable before God for how I live my life: for what I do, say, and think.
When I minister to students, faculty, and people in town I strive to see them as I strive to see myself: as someone who is loved and valued and becoming the man or woman of God they are called to be. My belief in Life means that to the fatherless I strive to become a ‘father,’ to the friendless, a friend. I strive to give them hope. This means that I can play a role in the healing of their souls as they come to find their own belief in Him who is Life. Yes, I believe in Jesus Christ and that belief in Life makes all the difference.
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