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fr joseph huneycutt

From Darkness to Light in the Church

by Fr. Joseph Huneycutt, from the January-February 2017 Issue of The Word:

Iconographers progress from dark to light, superimposing lighter colors over darker ones, and finishing with increasingly light-toned touches. I'm no iconographer, yet I hope the letter below will be viewed as a starting point towards the light. It was sent in reply to a frustrated orthodox christian woman who had written me with thoughts of leaving the church. I publish it here for the sake of others who may find themselves in a spiritual funk. Forgive me.

Dear ––––,

First off, please forgive the delay in my reply. I have no excuse, save fear of failing you in my answer.

I was once in a similar state as you now find yourself. Though I found comfort in praying the services and serving as pastor, I got to the point at which I hated everything "Orthodox." A magazine would arrive with a picture of a priest in his vestments – a service, baptism, or some such – and I would look at the picture with loathing and cast it aside in anger.

I hated all things that looked and smacked of "Orthodoxy" – all the while trying to lead a small community. It was awful. I won't go into the details of how I got to that point, but (forgive me here, please) I remember walking into the church early one morning and cursing myself before all the saints portrayed on the icons. It was a horrible two years.

That said, it was years ago, and here I am ... still.

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