“Whatever people expected, Isidora did the opposite. Instead of wanting people to think that she was beautiful or clever or holy, she hid herself by acting like a fool. Isidora was a nun who lived in Egypt, but she was not like the other nuns. Instead of wearing a veil over her hair, she wore a dirty dishrag. When everyone else wore sandals, she went barefoot. She wouldn’t eat meals with the other sisters and they thought she was crazy. Isidora took on the most difficult jobs in the monastery. She worked in the kitchen and even though no one liked her, she was always kind. In her heart, she loved God and her sisters and worked to serve them. When she heard people saying bad things about her, she remained silent and prayed for them. One day, an angel visited a monk name Saint Pitrim. The angel told Pitrim to leave the desert and find someone who was more holy than him, so God lead Pitrim to Isidora’s monastery. When he arrived, all of the nuns greeted Pitrim, but he could tell that the holy woman was not with them. When he asked about anyone else, someone answered that only the fool was missing. When Isidora was brought out, Pitrim bowed before her. The other nuns were amazed, but he revealed her kindness and holiness. Now that the others knew her secret, Isidora ran away. She did not want fame or honor, only to love God.”Excerpt From Calee M. Lee’s Women of Faith
From Saint Isidora’s story, we learn to be a fool for Christ and not think too hard about what others think of us. A lot of discussions at the leadership conference were based upon what our Orthodoxy means. Making a difference in our communities and recognizing others’ humanity means that we aren’t afraid to talk to people who are different than us, not afraid to go against the grain, not afraid to change the norms. If we are serving the kingdom of God and our fellow man, even if we look like a fool, we should be confident that we are doing the right thing. Think of the saints, like Saint Isidora, and the incredible things that they thought, did, and endured for their love for Christ. We are all called to do the same.