Prayer

Male professional, living in London, age 54

 

I've been carrying the prayer card for several months and have it with me now, in the departure lounge waiting for a flight from Beirut to Amman. It reminds me of the importance of what can sometimes seem like dry and technocratic discussions between governments. Behind the words and statistics are real people who have taken their lives in their hands to reach safety. It's worth people in a privileged position being reminded of that. I have had some harrowing discussions n the last two days with people directly affected by the Syrian conflict. A group of parents of Syrian children at a school were angry at lives disrupted, living in small rooms, getting by with menial occupations and the guests of Lebanese whose hospitality has been pretty much exhausted by the scale of the crisis. Today we talked to men and women from Aleppo, Damascus and Latakia who are doing what they can to bring sanity through direct action at the local level. I hope they're getting some traction in a terrible situation dominated by violence. The prayer card reminds me of the stakes involved. 

 

I also took the prayer card sailing on the boat this summer - one of my favourite sources of peace and enjoyment. There was an implicit contrast between my gentle summer meanderings in and around Chichester Harbour and the possibly desperate voyage, which brought the card to Europe. I hope the person who carried it survived the journey and is now somewhere where he or she can enjoy doing things because they bring pleasure and not just because they're necessary for survival.