June 8, 2010It’s 4 am in Istanbul and neither of us can sleep. The A/C in the room has quit, and the humidity from heavy rains the past two days has made the air as thick as Turkish coffee. The newly purchased  portable sound machine we were using to drown out the callers from the mosque next door has also inexplicably quit.

Strange, but if the imam or muezzin can use piercing recordings across the rooftops to call faithful Muslims to namaz five times daily, these small annoyances can certainly do the same for me. What comes to mind in the dark night are the needs of our friends and family back home – in this instance those whose comments to previous blogposts we read just before turning in last night.

I lay awake in the dark praying for dear ones who recently lost spouses due to death or divorce, another who is facing a legal situation that turns her stomach inside out, yet another who is carrying deep anxiety over her young adult children. One friend’s husband is disabled and unable to work, yet she never complains; another has a husband so gifted he could excel at practically any profession, yet cannot find work.

Lord, hear our prayers on behalf of these whom we love…I pray. Those on  Central or East Coast time are going to bed right now, even as night turns to dawn here on Wednesday morning in Istanbul. Rain falling in someone’s life is one thing, but some of these women have been enduring monsoons.

Hold them close in the darkness, I ask. Let their righteousness shine like the noonday sun. Be strong on their behalf, O God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You are their refuge, and underneath them always and ever are Your everlasting arms.

It’s nearly time for the muezzin to begin again, but Mike and I don’t need his recordings to remind us to pray. In the darkness, in the rain, we call out the names of our loved ones, and we sleep.

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Here’s a  collage of a few photos Mike took at the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market yesterday.

And here’s a link to Mike’s Picasa photo album, “Istanbul, Day 3”.   click here.