Returning from a family vacation last summer in Colorado, my brother Whitney and drove into Boulder, returned the rental car, etc., and checked into the Holiday Inn near the airport. The staff was friendly and the place nice enough, but the one thing I will always remember about the stay was finding a poem in our room. And not only finding it there, printed on a laminated card, but really being moved by it. I don’t know which caught me more by surprise, but there it was.
Its message surprised and delighted me, and somehow touched me. In today’s America especially travel often seems inherently a “tensing” thing, and I found myself melting just a little. For the last couple of weeks the Prayer/ Poem has kept popping back into my mind, and refusing to let go. So I finally sat down yesterday and Googled it, and first found it quoted in a web site by “Jenne Ink,” a talented and spirited writer journaling online about her experience of cancer. She had come across the message at the Courtyard Inn in Oklahoma City
( jenneink.blogs.com/jennethink/2007/07/stranger-within.html ).
In skimming only the first few other postings I saw that any number of travelers had also unexpectedly come across the Prayer in all kinds of hotels across the Country (one in Williamsburg, Kentucky at the Cumberland Inn, another the Embassy Suites in St. Charles, Missouri (near St. Louis), etc., etc.) and thought enough of it to post their experiences. It had been discussed on a forum of a national hotel chain. The prayer and its message also showed up on various web sites: alternative lodgings, churches, and others.
So quite obviously it hadn’t been just me; here was a message with a power of its own, that all kinds of people in all kinds of places were thirsty to receive. Now seems the time.
And so I share it here, its wonderfully simple language changed only a bit. (I must say, I love it that both of our properties share a common Garden Gate, so the prayer seems a propos in a particular and special way.)