I stepped out onto a hotel balcony overlooking ocean to pray along with my Morning Prayer podcast. Beyond the concrete wall, my neighbors spoke in a language I do not know. Reluctant to interrupt, I read and wrote in silence, waiting for them to leave so that my prayers could begin.
After an indeterminate time, measured in unfamiliar words, I heard the cadence of their conversation change. They were speaking now simultaneously; the woman’s voice soft, low, constant, as a recitative; the man’s voice rising in a aria of thanksgiving – at last, I recognized a word, “thank you,” punctuating each phrase with gratitude. Then, the unmistakable rhythm of the Trinity. Finally, their voices joined in unison in the prayer of Jesus, translated by the Spirit into every tongue.
“Amen,” I whispered silently. I heard their door slide open, closed. “Amen.”
The Revd Rosalind C Hughes is the Rector of the Church of the Epiphany, Euclid, Ohio