My oldest daughter was studying overseas in Rabat, Morocco.
We flew over to visit. I had never been to a primarily Muslim country. It felt strange and beautiful.
One afternoon we walked through the city to meet our daughter for lunch. For the second time that day, the call to prayer rose up from the mosques all around us, haunting and foreign-sounding.
Immediately, a construction worker near us pulled out a piece of cardboard, laid it on the ground, kneeled on it and bowed his head all the way to the earth. He began to pray in the middle of the day, in the middle of a city, in the middle of an intersection.
I do not know if my jaw literally dropped or not, but figuratively it did. I was amazed. I felt my shock viscerally; in my gut. I had honestly never seen such devotion. Such complete lack of concern for what seemed like an interruption. Such seriousness toward the Divine.
That image never left me; it haunts me to this day.
I left Morocco less certain that I had any kind of handle on what worship looks like, what it means, what it doesn't.
I was so humbled by what I saw.
So perplexed about it.
So astonished by this simple man's faith.
Categories to which I held tightly simply slipped through my fingers.
I was changed.