Did you know that the Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport has a cell phone lot? No, they do not sell cell phones there. It is a rugged, no nonsense asphalt parking lot where people go to wait for incoming flights. There are no Coke machines, fluffy chairs, or charging stations. The rest rooms are four blue Porta-Potties that your nose can locate on a dark and stormy night.
Once a traveler has landed and gotten their luggage, they can call their buddy at the cell phone lot to come pick them up. It is a 20th Century answer to a 21st Century problem. At least you don’t have to circle the terminal ad nauseam.
The other day, I was parked in the cell phone lot waiting for my daughter and her husband to return from England. Since they had to go through customs and then locate their luggage, it took a while before I could pick them up. So, there I sat with about 75 bored souls, plus the Uber and limousine drivers. We were all sitting in our vehicles, listening to the radio or whatever. Just passing the time until we get the call or text to move out.
It was a typical summertime Houston sultry day. The temperature was in the 90’s, and the humidity was near 101%. No one was out walking around. Even the birds were in the shade, somewhere. Steam rose from the asphalt like upside down rain.
That’s when it happened. To my left, a man got out of his limousine, and took a small rug out of his trunk. I assumed he was either checking a tire or about to practice his yoga poses. Instead, this man knelt down, and began to offer his Sunnah prayers for Dhuhr. He would kneel, stand, kneel, bend over, and stand. All the while, you could see his lips move in prayer.
Then, as though some far-away Mullah tweeted a signal, men all over the parking lot got out their rugs, and knelt down facing Mecca. For about 5 minutes, I sat in the middle of a congregation of devout Muslims, as they unabashedly lived out their faith. None of them cared if I approved of not. They did not ask my permission or opinion. It had nothing to do with me. It was about them, and their religious tradition. Soon, it was over. They packed up their prayer rugs, and returned to their cars.
What an education. In a world of political correctness, these bold Muslims started a prayer meeting on government owned property! They had no fear or consternation. It’s what they do. The rest of us must learn to deal with it.
And so many Christians are afraid to pray over their meals in public. We have stopped praying at school graduations, and have stifled any display of faith in the open. We cower to the loud voices of “tolerance” that tell us that religion is a private affair, and that we must keep it confined behind the stained glass. Really? Are we silly? Delirious? Tricked?
While Christians are hiding their little light under the PC bushel, the Muslims are boldly broadcasting their faith in the public square. What is wrong with us? Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Maybe Christians should make the world our cell phone PRAYING lot!