The darkness comes down softly over God's creation. Inside the house there are traces of a busy day: Legos on the floor, papers, and little crafts made by tiny hands. Little bodies are changing into their pajamas, their sweet little heads bopping around and eyelids heavily weighing down from the day's joys and maybe sorrows (after all, sharing is hard). I can hear their little feet stomping across the hardwood kitchen floor. They are coming. My sweet little blessings are coming eagerly to stand before the altar. By now the darkness outside has become more dense and the little soft light in the kandili is more welcome.
Here we all are in our domestic monastery ready to sanctify the remaining hours of the day and to commit our weary bodies and our sleep to Him the giver of life. Little hands tracing the life-giving sign of the cross on tiny bodies, daddy's voice leading the prayer, the soft chant of our voices. Truly the family is the domestic church. The light shining around the beloved icons giving them a soft heavenly glow, it all speaks of God, it all beacons to a child's heart. They look at them lovingly, what sweetness to fall asleep in the the company of their most cherished friends and protectors. I stand there at our domestic altar, with me right there stand my deeds and words from this day. I am whispering prayers, my tears rolling down, are my deeds condemning me and my words pulling me down? Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy one me. The words are tough and the deeds need more doing but His grace is there. Tears are coming down in thanksgiving for his promises and His mercy. The baby is now asleep on my shoulder, the little ones are ready to go to bed yet we linger. We want to remain just a little longer in our loving father's hands in the presence of his love with the holy saint and his mother. It is all quiet now. Little heads rest on their pillows, sweet little bodies rest sweetly underneath soft covers. It is black night outside. It is quiet, only the kandili still burns with a quiet light reminding us of His love and protection.