A late night walk through the Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Armenian Quarters of the Old City spilled me out at the Western Wall, the only remaining portion of Herod’s Temple Mount. As I sat on the foot-polished stones and watched the artificially lit scene before me, I considered the original intentions of the Temple: this was the place where the community of God and the community of humanity merged; it was the place that hosted God’s focused presence within Creation; and it was the place where every nation was supposed to fuse in worship.
Last night, I watched and listened to the prayers of the Orthodox Jews. I saw their rhythmic motion and three sporadic jumps (“Holy! Holy! Holy!”). I heard their unintelligible moans. Something authentic seemed to be happening before me as they were calling upon a Power greater than themselves.
Between my own prayers, I wondered to myself, “What are they praying? Was God listening?”
And then I saw three kids wearing jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers who couldn’t have been older than 18 work their way toward the Wall. Like the Orthodox Jews, their heads were covered and they seemed very serious about this very spiritual moment. However, rather than carrying a copy of the Hebrew Scriptures, they carried these…
As tears dripped, I wondered to myself, “Whose power do they trust in? What are they praying? Was God listening?”