I am praying the Liturgy of the Hours as I do every morning. My wet hair smells of citrus. I am draped by a size large cotton robe as I pad barefoot across the large room.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
For He has come to His people and set them free.
My companion is asleep, his light snores now quiet. He does not stir, a brown figure asleep in a nest of white cotton bedding.
He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour,
Born of the house of His servant David.
I go to the window and slowly pull aside the curtain. I look out onto the blue sky and the quiet avenue.
Through His holy prophets He promised of old
That He would save us from our enemies,
From the hands of all who hate us.
The sky is exactly how I love it: expansive, pure, full of possibility. I smile.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
And to remember His holy Covenant.
The sun shines over the rooftops of churches and is reflected by the fountain in the hotel plaza.
This was the oath He swore to our father Abraham:
To set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship Him without fear,
Holy and righteous in His sight
All the days of our life.
As I softly whisper the prayer from memory, I feel happy tears in the corners of my eyes, hear a slight catch in my voice. I look back over my shoulder at my sleeping companion.
You, My child shall be called
The prophet of the Most High,
For you will go before the Lord to prepare His way,
To give his people knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins.
Every tear, every sob, every threat, every awful thought has been worth the pain. For the tranquil promise of this moment, all is worthwhile.
In the tender compassion of our Lord
The dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness
And the shadow of death,
And to guide our feet into the way of peace.
My prayers were and are heard.