I can safely say I tried almost every single type of church that’s out there. Small fundamentalist churches, big fundamentalist churches, mega-churches, college town churches, charismatic churches, and house churches. It would be easy, and probably reasonable, to fear that Orthodoxy is just the next stop-off. I would be less than honest if I said that fear hadn’t crossed my mind in the days after I joined the Church.
But here’s the difference. All my life I had been the spiritual square peg, trying to stuff myself in the round holes of Western Christianity. From absolutely the moment I walked into an Orthodox church and found myself stumbling through the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, I fit.
I’ve been trying to figure out why that is. Intellectually, the evidence of the unbroken chain of history from Sts. Peter and Paul is impressive. Theologically, my church’s statement of faith, which we recite during each Divine Liturgy, is the pre-filioquian Nicene Creed (it’s worked for centuries). And spiritually, its practices provide for complete healing and accountability in an active faith community.
But I think it’s something more than that. It was home to me. It was as if all my spiritual life I had been outside in the snow, my nose pressed to the frosty glass of a window. Inside the window was all the safety and warmth I could ever need. Now that I’m inside, I couldn’t ever leave. Why would I? There wasn’t any “wrapping my head around” that decision. The decision wrapped itself around me. I am captive.
And I don’t mind.