Cute and Serious Stories
about Eastern Orthodox Children

Timmy and the Titanic

We read aloud spiritual books nightly. This is a habit that I want to encourage in the strongest possible way, since I know it to be one of the pillars upon which our christian life grows and flourishes. The following story is an indication that the holy things we read DO sink in, and are helpful in teaching us and our children to live like christians. The children really do listen, even it it appears that all they are interested in is filling in an entire page of a coloring book with a black crayon!

We had been reading "The Way Of The Pilgrim". The protagonist of the story is a poor Russian layman who has a withered hand, with no family ties, who wanders about the vast area of Russia, seeking advice about interior prayer. Many of his life experiences are very touching and edifying, and the recounting of them leaves everyone on the edge of their seats, listening intently. We often have discussions about the passages we have read, sometimes days after the fact.

Timmy (6 years old) really likes this book, and, as in the case in most of the things we read, becomes very involved emotionally with the characters. He recently talked to my wife about one of his concerns. His comments show the peculiar mix of fantasy, reality, compunction and compassion that parents often are treated to. When you have children, it is easy to see why we are told to become like them.

Timmy: Mommy, I think it is really sad that the pilgrim has a withered hand and is so so poor.

Mommy: Did you think he was sad?

Timmy: ... No ... but _I_ am.

Mommy: He was happy because God provided him with everything he really needed, and he always had food. He always found shelter. He was at peace.

Timmy: Well ... I hope I am not _that_ poor, and don't have a withered hand. Pregnant pause ... When I grow up, I want to invent something to raise the Titanic*, then sell it to a museum for three hundred dollars, or three million, or something like that. Then I will give most of the money away to the poor, and use the rest for the rest of my life. Then I'll sleep outside and be like the pilgrim too!

May God help that spark of decency and holiness that is within all our sons and daughters, future and present, to be fanned into a great flame, and may we really be "like the pilgrim".

Deacon Seraphim Holland - 1992

* He had just looked at and had a book read to him about the Titanic. He plans to make a huge helicopter to pull it out of the water.


Why do some ladies dress like men?

My son said something yesterday that was hilarious. He is five years old and very serious about the Orthodox faith. He is known as "small deacon" in my house, and is constantly coming up with "observations" some of which are a little off of center. Here is one.

"Mom, Why do some ladies dress like men?"

"What do you mean Timmy?"

"Well... I just saw a lady with a dress on, but she had a _pony tail_!"

All the clergy in our parish have "pony tails". From Tim's perspective, long hair in a pony tail is something only men have!

Of course we corrected his (mis)observation, with a smile.

Deacon Seraphim Holland - 5 May 1993

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