The week and world reviewed, 1 April 2005
All praises due to Allah! Seems I may be experiencing a spiritual upheaval, experience, ephiphany, whatever. I am confronting some very real and serious questions, such as, how does one find salvation? Who is my Creator? What do I owe to this One?
To find some answers, I drove the one score and something miles to the nearest Friday afternoon worship gathering, what I had referred to the angel whom I will call my friend in Cairo, as "the mosque."
Strangely enough, since the location had been changed since I last worked over in that community, I found, while driving around, the Catholic replacement for Father H. who'd been with us when we invaded Iraq. The priest, wearing an elegant stole, was hearing a confession. I waited, was able to meet and find out who he was, introduce myself, and learn that Father H. is back in Iraq. Then I went on with my search.
Apparently, it is the space allowed within a chapel in a government compound. Yes, our government guarantees freedom of religion, so by law all religions are to be tolerated, although kept separate and not sponsored by the government. So for those members of the Camp Swampy community, it's a small but clean room in a chapel which I'll call The Green Chapel, in the spirit of discretion. Unfortunately, I was late for the service, but I removed my shoes, entered respectfully, quietly, and got some literature. I read from the Sura which in English is translated as "Repentence," which is the only one which does not start with "In the name of Allah, the Almighty, the Merciful." I prayed in my mind as best I could, not knowing the Arabic well enough.
But not to worry. I have found the name of one or two Islamic men who will be able to guide me in the proper way to pray. They will be expecting me. Whatever will happen, will be the will of the Almighty. I throw myself at his Mercy.