Nov 3

Helen Tyte


After seeing a group of children learning about Matryoshka, or Russian dolls, it brought to mind the way in which individuals portray themselves to the outside world. The shells are all very similar, but slightly different, which is reflected in how people share different parts of themselves with the different groups they interact with.

The first shell is the image you let anybody see, the one you are happy to present to the world. The other shells are saved for specific groups that you connect with: colleagues, family, children, teachers, medical personnel, ministers, best friends, parents, or your significant other. You may share a variety of things with different people, such as your hopes, stresses, dreams, fears, achievements and worries, but each group will see a different version of you.

In the centre of the Matryoshka is the ‘seed’, which represents our true self, saved for us, that we never fully let anybody into. The real you. Nobody else is allowed to see the real you, except God. You can’t hide anything from Him, he knows us inside and out, and loves us for exactly who we are.

Matryoshka dolls are also different in size. This reminded me of our prayers of intercession. where we bridge the gap and intercede between those who need prayer and God. We start with big issues, and work our way to the small. Usually prayers of intercession start with prayers for the world. We move on with prayers for our nation, the wider church, our own church, our neighbours and lastly ourselves. The last mention in our intercessions, the smallest part is reserved for prayers for ourselves. We sin when we put ourselves first before God, the world and others, and it is vital that we pray for these groups, that we bridge that gap between those in need of prayer and God, but we must also remember that each and every one of us is just as important to God. Our own needs and cares are just as important as the needs of others, so prayer for ourselves is also essential.

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