If it is God's will...

Last night we played a jazz gig and our new friend from Turkey, Tugut Yoruk, joined us on the seven stringed saz.  He brought along a Turkish rhythm section on his lap top, too that put things over the top!  It was a wild groove that inspired our horn man, Charlie, to get down and totally funky adding hip hop sounds and Middle Eastern melodies that brought the house down!  Truly too kewel for school.

After wards, as we debriefed at home, Dianne said, "Wasn't it just incredible that in addition to the music and new friendships, that in the middle of a jazz gig a musician was chanting, "In sha'Allah, In sha'Allah?"  If it is the will of God - Allah - the Lord... إن شاء الله  It was incredible - another sign of God's still speaking voice breaking into the most unlikely places?

Apparently the joy and awe of this truth created two thoughts that freely roamed around my soul last night as I slept:  

+ It is truly audacious - and foolish - in the most sacred way possible to advance this trip to Turkey - but it is happening.  Already we have more gigs requested in Istanbul than we can handle in our 10 days.  Already people from the Turkish Cultural Center and new friends at the university are going out of their way to help us bring the sounds of friendship through music to their homeland.  And already the tender beauty of this musical mission is taking shape and form in tangible ways that seemed impossible just two months ago when we had no idea where we were going to play or sleep.  In sha'Allah - if it is the will of the Lord it will happen.  

+ What's more, there is a blessed synergy taking place within the band, too that is a gift of healing and hope beyond my wildest expectation.  Last night, for example, we all got to the gig early - unheard of for most of us - and not only did we get everything set up, but we had 30 minutes to visit and break bread with one another - our Turkish friend even got to join us, too.  Usually we are all so harried and distracted from our other lives that we get to the hall, set up as fast as we can, toss back a brew and jump into the fray.  But last night we ate and drank and told stories like a little musical family.  I think it helped shape the whole night with a relaxed and loving energy that was infectious.  There really is something to the old tradition of building affection and trust around the dinner table:  In sha'Allah, yes?  Apparently it was of God's will for us to connect so sweetly before the music happened.

In a time that is so distraught - we were keenly aware throughout the night of the war in Libya as well as the murders of 12 UN workers in Afghanistan that was the ugly, contrived and frenzied response to that moron pastor in Florida who burned the Koran on March 20th - we were committed to making peace.  It isn't dramatic and only about 150 people experienced it, but it was real and of the Lord on a human scale.  And beyond the jazz - which was a total gas - we became aware of the multiple ways we are being awakened to what it means to take this trip:
+ we ordered a pizza with pork on it only to be reminded that our Turkish friend does not eat pork - or drink alcohol.  (Same was true for our Roman Catholic buddy and meat on a Friday gig in Lent!)

+ we experienced the totally unique and complex rhythms of Turkish music in a new way - one that opened our hearts and minds - and also challenged us to get up to speed (sometimes literally!)

And we found ourselves resting in the beauty of Tugut's chant almost unconsciously:  in sha'Allah - if it is God's will - Lord, may it be so within and among us.


Black Pete said…
Yes. This is what it should be like.
RJ said…
It will be sooo wonderful to be with you and Joyce at the close of summer, my dear friend.

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