“In school I won’t go, now I’ll walk you to the Church”

The story “My gryadochki” from the book of the priest of Alexander Dyachenko “Sholei. Simple and complex stories about people”, published by the “Nike”.

  • Accident, or my Dear stranger
  • In the mirror
  • Time
  • “With favourite do not leave”
  • Archpriest Alexander Dyachenko: how I came to God

My elder Archimandrite Paul I found digging in the garden. The Church house was adjacent to the site, and these few acres of land brought the old man a great comfort. The father — of peasants in Orel province — loved to work the land, giving the garden every spare minute. And all the while his plot was in mind.

I have a patch with all the small things: radishes, parsley, dill. And without dill? I explained father Paul. — It is his, to the market-that will not run, and the prices are bite. And there I have, then, a greenhouse for cucumbers is, and even a hothouse for tomatoes, peppers pitch. By the fall of cucumbers salt to the winter we are with you, Sasha, had something to eat. And, pleased with his joke, the priest laughed.

But I at that time cucumbers were not very interested in, was the more important topics.

— Father, today the question of concern to literally everyone, is the question of the end of the world. Whoever you talk to, everyone is paying attention to obvious signs of its approach here and impoverishment of Holiness, and frequent natural disasters, and…

I was going to continue to bend her fingers, but father Paul interrupted me:

And I better tell whether or not this year to plant potatoes? Maybe it’s better to buy imported, Tambov? What, she’s good, Leica.

I was even hurt: I have a topic burning up, and it’s all about the garden. The priest, seeing as I myself resent smiled.

— You judge for yourself that the Lord is our earth? Yes, read the same garden that I have. Know how much you need to work, that the earth produce? To feed the soil need? Need. And watered, and weed? All you need. Everything that is happening to it. And The Lord? He’s still the earth itself was supposed to create, and created it from “nothing”. Design, but still see that she was again “nothing” is not addressed! And why the hard work? Yes, all for the sake of the righteous harvest of human souls. I work spring and summer, and God works always. Here’s His “garden all year round”! If I work and receive no harvest, then I potatoes, the same easier in the market to buy a land to quit. Here’s the answer to your question. When God’s garden will no longer yield a harvest of the righteous, then will come the end of the world. There is no need of force to spend…


Long gone in the world of father Paul, and I still remember his wise peasant theology and working on his “bed”. And really, I see people, like seeds, come to the temple, stand on the services that talk with the priest.

Priest Alexander Dyachenko

Rarely comes the call of the soul — all the more because of diseases and disorder. And I think that’s what “the seed” will be delayed and will root and what does like a rolling stone, roll on, blown about by the winds of this world…

Rarely, very rarely meet people whose calling since childhood — the temple and prayer. We have Sunday school for many kids, and themselves, without parents, does not come to Church. But as grow up, we have them on the services and does not see. Maybe something not so do? I do not know. That’s just Anya she came. The case was still under the old priest, a few years before my father. She studied in the ninth grade, and except her in the family in the Church no one went.

The teenager came to the temple, the most ordinary kid from an ordinary family, in which the word “God” was never intended capitalized. Stood the girl at the service, and then announces to the priest:

In school I won’t go, now I’ll walk you to the Church.

Large effort it took to persuade her to finish nine classes, but no more. Then by the Church she was sent to Moscow to study icon painting.

Returning from the capital, the girl is to work independently yet could not need to practice under the guidance of experienced masters. Planned to attach it to one of the gang, but Anna revealed that the dreams of the monastery.

The mother initially was opposed to her daughter’s decision to leave the monastery, but, in the end, not resist the pressure of its requests, agreed. Anya was glad to leave to a neighboring diocese, where he became trudnica in the female monastery. However, she stayed there long, only about six months. What happened there, I can’t say, but, as suggested, with the girl what happened, what we sometimes call “insurance”. She hooked up with power, which is usually not allowed to Express themselves in front of inexperienced devotees. And it is this meeting somehow happened, and Anya was so scared that he was in a psychiatric hospital.

After treatment, no return to the monastery could not be considered. The girl lived with her mother and continued to walk to our service. Anya’s condition improved, and if it was possible to talk about the signs of the disease, they manifest a greater degree of her alienation from the world. As a rule, she tried to remain alone, virtually no one was talking, just answering questions, she almost asked.

Anna was watching TV, not interested in the outside world. But he never missed a service and she suddenly opened talent for drawing. Before the girl learned to draw, but any apparent success is not achieved, and now began to paint images of the saints. Wrote quickly, using only a ballpoint pen.

Her drawings noticed and invited to work with professional painters. For Anya fell on hard time and had to learn for real. Something she could easily, and some details did not work out.

Then she sat down in a corner and cried silently and inconsolably. Everyone immediately felt pity for it, in fact, still a child, comforted her as best they could, suggested, encouraged. Then she, smiling through her tears, again and again escorting the recalcitrant elements until, until she finally began to happen.

I didn’t say that the girl, being in a sort his own world, constantly smiling. It was felt that her world was a good and very bright. She never dared anyone to take issue or, God forbid, to raise your voice. If someone had something, she implicitly gave or withdrew, giving place, whether in the Church or in the refectory. And she always took communion. Often confession.

She has always been physically painful when someone around cursing when people don’t get along with each other.

— Father, I can’t stand when I see that between people there is no love, I feel bad and want to run away.

In the monastery she learned obedience. She continued to consider himself a nun in the world and surrendered in complete obedience to the mother and the Abbot. By the way, if we talk about obedience, it is better it is comprehended in the monastery walls. This is understandable: how can the same mother-abbess to maintain order among the sisters, if each of them will do what she pleases? As considered in the monastic practice of obedience is a straight way to salvation, and prized it very highly.

Over time Anichkina skill grew. And not just because she managed thinner and thinner to apply chiaroscuro or more write patterns of heavenly garments. It all turned out better faces and hands of the saints. She learned to see the world through their eyes. Or, if I may say so, the faces of saints staring expression of the eyes of the daughter. She intuitively put them in their continued wisdom and sad at the same time a mark heavenly joy, which was read in her gaze. Sometimes she would roll the tears themselves, then mom gave her the pills, and the tears stopped. I now remember that she never called the man by name and saying “Nina”, “Zina” and spoke to men just for you.

Her employers, the people themselves are not very churched, left for Anna is the most difficult area of work. Writing down the details and rich finishing icons, they invariably brought to Anya to write the faces and hands of the saints. And I saw under her quick and accurate strokes, the images came to life. She wrote for our Church, and many members ordered her personal obrazki. So Anna became the main worker in the family, and is itself contained a mother.

The money she had a special relationship. If you try to define it, we can say “no”. The money, she was not interested. She never traded upon payment for the work.

Once I even decided to test it and pay for another job when she smilingly said that he wants to get five thousand, made a surprised face and said:

Anna, for God’s sake, it’s too expensive.

It is not his face and still smiling:

— Then four thousand.

Again find a reason to bargain more and more, forcing down the price. And Anna said:

— Father, I wanted to give this icon to the Church, take it as a sacrifice.

And still the same unchanging calm smile on his face…

For a long time, she couldn’t get a disability pension because every time the question of the Chairman of the Commission on the livelihood innocently talked about their icons. From the answers it appeared that she was that rich she need not provide a pension, and it should contain the staff of a mental hospital. The girl looked at the people in white coats and smiled his kind gentle smile.

Finally, our Anna has placed in the regional psychiatric hospital to confirm still assigned to a year earlier, the second group of disability. In the hospital she had to spend a few months, so we hurried her to finish the icons for large wooden vestments to the throne.

First she wrote “the last supper” and wrote it quickly. The plot is a classic, often depicted. But this image is “the Agony in the garden” — was very rare, and as we wrote in the old style, then Anya had to create my own icon that first she had to do it very rarely.

In “Christ Carrying the cross” it got allocated figure of the Saviour hanging heavy burden. And at last, the fourth Board repeated the well-known “descent from the cross”. Icon, despite the static nature of the forms that came from it is so vivid that I involuntarily exclaimed:

— Anna, you look as if you saw it for yourself!

At first, she called from the hospital, said a cheerful voice, said that together with other patients painted plates, but after a while Anna started to feel sad and even cried in the phone:

— Father, get me out of here, I really miss the temple and all of you.

We, as could, tried to support her to suffer:

— Because the doctors I wish you nothing but good.

— I was not allowed in the Church, I cannot partake of complained Anya.

A few days later, we learned that she was seriously ill and is in intensive care. Then came the last call:

— Father, I feel very bad, pray for me, I hurt all over. And still I dream to see you all, but here I realized, how I love you.

Suddenly the conversation ceased, and strict female voice told me not to disturb the patient.

Later we learned that Anna night suddenly temperature rose, she became delirious and thrashing around in bed.

Duty nurse in a mental hospital wanted to sleep, but our girl moans it hurt. And big strong woman tied her hands to the upper back, and feet — to the base of the bed, gagged with a towel and so left for the night.

She was not angry, but this nurse just used to other people’s suffering. Why would someone bother? Night all sleepy.

In the morning Anna was found in a critical condition and was sent to the intensive care unit. Big strong woman out of harm’s way immediately fired. Mother who were on duty at Anya, and saw that she finally came around and said to her:

— I’m suing the hospital.

In response Anya smiled his gentle smile and asked:

— No need, mother, forgive them. You have no idea THERE as well.


We buried her a week before the Great lent. After the funeral the coffin was carried on the car and although the driver tried to drive slowly, because snow had fallen the previous day the people still could not keep up, had almost to run.

My “hradecka” ran across the snow, simultaneously singing and crying. Suddenly one of them called out to me, pointed to the sun:

— Father, look!

On that February day, the sky was the usual gray, but suddenly the mist parted and we saw the sun surrounded by a circular rainbow. In it, like water, to the left and right reflected exactly the same two of the solar disk. The sun was like at Easter, I first saw this phenomenon.

When they began to throw the earth a grave, the sky has again tightened the grey haze.

And the next day all came down. Begin the first week of lent, and we have no reader.


Remember Anya and think: here it seems the man was unremarkable, come forever after all, burrow like a mouse, in its place and hardens to the wall on all service, worth it — do not stir. And went away and the temple was empty. Of course, the spiritual fruit is ripe, regardless of the earth’s age, and the Lord knows what he’s doing, sending the reapers to Your “garden”. We understand that, but we-now — without her smile?..

…Her last icons were considered, wanted to understand why they have it like live? So can write only one who saw it all myself. Sort order: “the last supper”, “the Agony in the garden”, “Christ carrying the cross,” “descent from the cross”.

Take the latest, the fourth in a row and like an Epiphany: here she is, our Anya, near the cross is, itself portrayed. But she was a modest person and would never to that without the blessings have not dared.

It appears that, the Lord Himself, reinforcing it in the forthcoming sufferings, held the girl of His way of the cross to Golgotha, and he blessed her to become close to His Cross?

And in that empty space in the temple near the wall now is her mother.

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