“This is my special place,” she declared. “When I look out from here and see the palm trees, they remind me of Phoenix.” My friend had led me up to the rooftop of her house, her place of peace, reflection, and prayer.
The house is only two stories tall, but there are few tall buildings in the area, which means that we would be able to see for miles from the rooftop, on a clear day. Although only up a short flight of stairs, the rooftop feels entirely separate from the house, separate from humanity. The only noises are the steady buzz of traffic and the wind in the trees.
She explained that here she would walk around or sit on a cinder block as she reflected and prayed. She would think about what her family was doing in Phoenix, whether her dad was at work, how her sisters were doing in school, how her mom was feeling. She hadn’t seen them since she was deported from Arizona two and a half years ago after living in the US for ten years, but being on the rooftop helps her feel connected to them. She just looks out over the distance, prays for them and prays with them.
There is a peaceful loneliness to the rooftop. It is a place apart, but a place where she looks into the clouds and wonders at God’s majesty. A place where she feels free and joyful as she is alone yet connected to the city and the world around her.
My friend is actually quite content in Mexico and believes that her purpose is here, that she is fulfilling her dreams and deepest desires here. She is at peace with God and delights in His love. She has a ready smile and laugh. Her one source of wistfulness is the desire to see her family again, at least to visit them for a short time.
So as we stand on this rooftop I wonder whether her family doesn’t have a special place too. A rooftop or a spot in the yard or a chair where they sit and pray for her and with her. Where they look at the palm trees and imagine that they are sitting with her on the cinder block, looking out together.