I preferred playing catch to practicing piano as a kid.  While I don’t recall ever being explicitly discouraged to pursue music, I think I’ve always been a bit intimidated by music.  Since I didn’t learn to sing or play an instrument, I tend to feel vulnerable around musicians.  I fear being exposed as utterly uninformed regarding the art that shapes and gives meaning to their lives.

It's Greek to Me

It's Greek to Me

So, it was a stretch for me to walk into the Music Recital Hall at Sacramento State this evening.  I went to support a friend for his Senior Recital. Thankfully, I went with another friend who is a musician.  I was cautious of my every move throughout the performance.  Triple checked to make sure the cell phone was off.  Glanced sideways to be ready to applaud appropriately.  Tried not to shuffle the papers as I followed the order of performance:  Liebesbriefchen to FuBreise to Freudvoll und Leidvoll.  (Thank you God and music department for the text translations of each song.)  While I never was able to move fully beyond my own insecurities during the performance, I’m thankful for the experience.  Brandon’s voice was truly beautiful to hear.  The music was moving.

I suspect my experience with the recital parallels how some folks experience church.  If you haven’t grown up in church, it probably feels intimidating and scary.  You’ll want to double check your phone.  You’ll inevitably get lost in the coded language of the bulletin.  You’ll glance to the side to see when it’s appropriate to stand.  You might not be able to get over your own feelings of uncertainty and be fully present in the experience.  Perhaps though, something will move you.  Perhaps something will help you beyond all the barriers faith leaders construct and you’ll connect with the mystery of the Divine in the midst of an imperfect community of folks who gather to practice their faith.

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