Taking an Old Woman to the Church at Dawn

I was a little bit salty for failing to attend qiyamullail on Sunday last December in Namira Mosque. I departed to the majestic mosque at 3 a.m. when it was quiet in my housing complex.

When I was about to leave the residence, the gate was locked as the security guard was canvassing the whole complex to assure security.

Sipping a cup of coffee is amazingly favorable in Namira Mosque every Sunday morning.

When he finally returned and unlocked the gate, an old woman approached and asked me where I was heading to. I told her I was on my way to Namira in Jotosanur, a village in the Tikung subdistrict.

She asked if I could take her to a spot on the highway just next to the police station. She would take a pedicab or ojek (paid motorist) to get to her destination. 

So I said yes. I wouldn't let her walk alone in the darkness to get to the spot. A kilometer walk at dawn isn't ideal for a 70-year-old woman.

Just about dropping her near the police station, she whispered to me, "Would you take me to Ndapur, son?" She said plainly while declaring her actual destination is a church near Golkar headquarters.

I was hesitant for a moment as I had to rush to the mosque for tahajud prayer I've always wanted to join. I've never participated in prayer outside of Ramadan month. I would like to imbibe the exclusive nuance of early dawn prayer in the congregation.

Unfortunately, after a while, no motorists or pedicabs passed by that would take the old woman to the church. So I decided to carry her along instantly. She was happy while concealing her emotions.

We had a brief chat during the short ride. On the motorcycle, she told me her name and what block she lives in. She lives with her son a daughter-in-law, and a grandkid.

"What about your son, Ma'am? Isn't he coming with you to the church?" I wondered why she traveled alone while her son was deep asleep on his bed.

"No, he isn't. He is  Moslem, following her wife's faith." She further told me that her son works in Surabaya and arrives home late at night. However, he had agreed to take her when she was about to depart early in the morning if she wakes him up.

"What time is it now, son?" She asked almost automatically. "Is it 4 a.m. already?"

"Sorry, ma'am. I don't have a watch. But I can check the time from my phone in my pocket." 

"What time do you think it is now?"

"I guess it is 3.30. Not yet 4."

There we finally made it to the church. I dropped her in front of the building while the gate was already open. Lights were on during the time.

She said thanks and would wait, maybe for her relatives who live nearby and would join her in a particular program--I don't know.

I said goodbye and rode away. I certainly missed the tahajud prayer but joined the Subuh prayer instead from the start to the end. I believe there is plenty more time for me to participate in qiyamullail one day. 

At least I had the opportunity to attend the morning study forum and sipped another cup of coffee on the verandah of the beautiful mosque I always want to visit every day.


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