The snow that brought the neighbors closer, kept the friends apart… And prayers brought us all together!

The snow that brought the neighbors closer, kept the friends apart…

As anticipated, the Snowzilla brought the neighbors together. Muslims from Eritrea, Catholics from Bolivia and Baha’is from Bulgaria and the USA worked together, helping each other to dig out cars and walkways from the historic snowfall.

Muslims from Eritrea, Catholics from Bolivia and Baha'is from Bulgaria and the USA working together!

Muslims from Eritrea, Catholics from
Bolivia and Baha’is from Bulgaria and the USA working together!

More importantly, by getting to know each other, we all felt a deeper human connection which is so needed to make a community feel authentic. Now, whenever I see Abdullah or Felicidad on the street, I can offer more than an smile — I can actually converse meaningfully with my neighbors.

And prayers brought us all together!

“Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face.”
~ Baha’i Faith, Bahá’u’lláh, “Epistle to the Son of the Wolf”

While I invited my neighbors to the Monday Prayer Station “The Trust of Thy Neighbors”, I wanted to make sure those who were unable to drive had an opportunity to participate in the devotional. So, I embarked on texting friends near and far, inquiring how they were dealing with the aftermath of the snow storm and inviting their prayer requests.  33 souls from as close as a few streets away to as far as Sri Lanka and Italy shared their thoughts and ask for prayers.

From simple prayers for the good things of life to prayers behind which you could sense a whole spectrum of human emotions: from pain through hope, from fear through yearning, from despair to determination.

Prayers to lift up the pain of losing a son-in-law, or a friend’s brother, or the 6-year old son of a friend, or watching an old friend lose the battle against cancer;  and prayers for strength for those surviving the departed…

Prayers carrying the hope of healing for an infant or for an adult struggling with addiction or fighting a cancer or a whole host of diseases…

Prayers expressing the concern for those left homeless or the elderly left home alone, and for those displaced by ongoing, ravaging war…

Prayers of deep yearning for God’s guidance in making life-impacting decisions – from applying for a Ph.D. program or simply choosing what to study, to prayers for steadfastness and the removal of fear.

Prayers for help and assistance, for protection and safety, for success and service, for removal of economic difficulties or the loneliness of single life, for new career transitions or retirement transitions.

Prayers of praise and gratitude for the blessings and tests in one’s life.

Prayers for physical and spiritual healing of sons and daughters, of parents and grandparents, of individuals, communities, nations and the planet.

And prayers for the institutions — from nascent to fully established — doing their best to change the course of an ailing humanity.

It was a humbling Prayer Station, one that reminded me of the true purpose of a devotional gathering, whether a well or sparsely attended one…

Let us cling together!


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