This is a Flashback Friday post from the days a few years ago when we were under a Covid lockdown:
It was 1960, something. I was standing in the pouring rain in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, at the White Horse traffic circle. It was me, my soaked clothes, and a guitar. The guitar had some extra clothes wrapped inside the case to keep the guitar dry. I was praying for a ride.
Out of the night appeared a large black sedan full of African American Church ladies. I heard one of them holler out to me, “Hurry in, there’s room for one more if we squeeze!” and squeeze we did to Philadelphia.
They grilled me: did my mother know where I was? What was I doing in the middle of nowhere New Jersey in a storm like this? It went on, but in such loving terms that I soon broke down in tears. Out it came my life’s current romantic, financial, and existential crises off the rails.
Then a quiet voice asked: “May we pray for you?” and pray they did all through the dark wet night from White Horse Circle on NJ 226 to North Philly. Letting me out where I could catch a train, I was told: “You’ve
OK, it wasn’t my tradition. I’m a Methodist escapee from a Catholic upbringing. But the rhythm, the memory kept returning, and I am in that car with those ladies praying for me. And, as I said, it’s like a powerful rhythm track. I can’t hear the words, but I feel the powerful beat. I am so grateful to those ladies; they prayed over me so well that all these years later, It’s still there.