The room is dark, which might lead us to think that this dad is getting the children ready for bed at night. But look beyond and we see through the bathroom window that it is more likely morning. Maybe it's Saturday and he's letting mom sleep in. Already the candle is burning by the Beautiful Corner in the living room.
The Beautiful Corner, (sometimes called, The Front Corner, The Holy Corner, or even God's Place) is a sacred space in every Eastern Christian home. Ideally, it is seen as one walks in through the front door, announcing at once, believers live here! The purpose of the space is worship; calling a family to prayer.
There really aren't rules about putting together a Beautiful Corner, more like suggestions: the corner should include icons of Christ and the Mother of God. Images of saints should not be higher than that of Christ. There shouldn't be posters of sports or entertainment figures near by. That's just good common sense.
But we must never think we've got God in a box or in a corner, let alone think we've got God in our corner. That's dangerous thinking. Remember the verse in the Book of Genesis 28:16 when Jacob woke from his dream-sleep he thought, "Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it." I'd suggest that could be said about every place where people gather.
I'd suggest The Beautiful Corner calls us to the awareness of the divine presence which is everywhere:
- God in the corner of the nursing home lobby, where folks hope for a visitor.
- God in the corner of my desk drawer where I find the address of someone I know I really ought to write to or phone.
- God in the corner of the classroom where a young person is trying to hide.
- God in the corner of the party or gathering where someone is invariably without fellowship.
- God in the corner of the parish church where "I've seen that woman at Mass for twenty years and I've never bothered to go over and introduce myself."
- God in the corner, which is my TV screen, playing the children's aid info-mercial.
Ah, God in the corner of my mind, where a small voice urges me to "Do something about that," whatever good thing that may be.