Joyful Noise: Look at the Icons

10 October 2016

(c) 2016 ||

In church and in home prayer, my children get very easily distracted.

This is understandable, given their young age, and I work with where they are.

But by far the most infuriating thing to me is when they distract each other. Sometimes it’s unintentional, but many times it’s that they’re choosing to focus on what the other person is doing rather than on the prayer or the liturgy.

“Moooooooooooooom, he won’t stop making that face at me.”

“Don’t look at him. Turn your head and look at the icons.”

“But he’s dooooooooing it.”

“Ignore it. Turn your head and you won’t see him.”


“Look at the icons.”

I should listen to my own advice.

So-and-so made an offhand comment that I found irritating.

Look at the icons.

My child is struggling with a particular situation at school. I try my best to help, but it feels fumbling and doesn’t seem to work. My heart breaks.

Look at the icons.

Yet again, I come to the end of the day exhausted, only to be asked to do that one more thing that I barely can muster the strength for. I’m angry.

Look at the icons.

A friend is suffering and I have so little to give, but words of comfort and a prayer. Maybe some money buys a gift or can be a stopover, but it doesn’t make the problem go away.

Look at the icons.

Just keep returning to the icons. Keep returning to prayer. Keep your eyes on Christ.