Sunday, August 27, 2006

Seraphims on-line

There are a number of "Seraphims" in the Orthodox blogging world.  One is a retired missionary bishop, author and saintly eccentric, currently visiting Moscow for the encouragement of small group of open minded Orthodox believers involved in service and evangelism.  Another is a fellow attorney who practices and prays at the southern end of the Appalachians a few states down from me.  I read both daily, but have a special affection for the second Seraphim whose life experience overlaps with mine in interesting ways.  I read this post last Thursday after a Wednesday I would not care to live over.  I had spent the previous afternoon fighting a doomed battle in a Court-appointed case where I was representing a mother whose child had been taken away for mostly justifiable reasons.  It was a hard case, which I believed I argued well, but ultimately unsuccessfully.  My client was broken hearted, I was depressed, and when my assistant found out that Virginia's Court appointment fee wouldn't cover even an hour of my time billed at our standard rate, she got depressed too.  I do these cases because somebody needs to, but they do exact a cost, emotionally, spiritually and financially.  It did my morale good to hear that sometimes it all works out:

I walked into the courtroom and gestured to my client to meet me in the back. He and his wife came back, still holding hands. He was almost distraught from worry and fear. “They’re coming home,” I said. My guy dissolved in tears and grabbed me in a bear hug, and for several minutes we stood there, me slapping his back, him sobbing, and — to be honest - me not completely dry eyed. Finally we broke, and I told him the plan. Visitation in his home starts on Saturday, and if all goes well, they will move in full time with him when Christmas break starts. He said he understood. I shook his hand, and he grabbed me again. “God bless you, man. God bless you,” he said. I stopped him. “I want to thank you for your prayers over these years,” I told him. “But your prayers have gotten you this: God has blessed you.”