These last days I’m visiting two wonderful countries – Georgia and Armenia – hoping that Christ would allow me to pray in some of their holy places. This will be a brief post. I just want to note how much it helps me to see these ancient monasteries, which have survived long centuries of wars, invasions and heresies. The Ottomans, the Persians, the Communist regime, a seemingly endless row of religious controversies and wars, destruction of their holy places and slaughter of their holy people: NOTHING stops God from fulfilling His saving work in the world.
St Nino came to Georgia in the 4th century and her relics are still there, in her monastery. St David Carejeli’s monastery in the terribly arid Iori mountain plateau is still standing, one thousand and five hundred years after the saint founded the community. And here I am, moaning and crying for the help of these holy founders, asking them to send me the people who would help me build a humble wooden monastic house for our nuns.
But this is not MY worry. This is God’s work, and He is reminding me these days that my bones will one day fall to the ground and they will be dust. I shall whiten the stones of a mountain somewhere, or melt into the sea – this is entirely irrelevant; His work will survive me.
This monastery is His work, as is everything in this world. I simply have to trust and wait. It is such an extraordinary feeling of freedom, of being lifted up above all my worries and my fears and my doubts. I am Christ’s creation, and I am endlessly grateful to Him for having loved me enough to bring me into being.
Everything else will follow at the right time – the right people, the right founders, they will all come. The construction of this monastery, its fall and its lifting up again, they will all take their course. None of these matters. I look at these walls, wounded by time and hatred, and I am filled with certainty and love: when God creates, His creation stands.