Last night I hung out with two good friends of mine, one of which I haven’t hung out with in a very long time. After all of the updating and whatnot, we got to talking about how miraculous Muslim-to-Christian conversions have been happening in the Middle East. There were some remarkable stories that she shared with me.
“I belong to YOU?! Really, White Jesus? Oh wait, this is a stock photo, not a dream.”
One dude had a dream that Jesus came to him and touched him on his head and on his heart and said to him, “You belong to me.” He was a devout Muslim his whole life up until that point, and after that point he followed Christ, going the first two years with no bible, no church and no one to preach the Gospel to him. That is the most remarkable story of conversion I have ever heard, not to mention the details about him being a drunk and an abusive husband and father before then, at which point he moved away to an Islamic monastery type place, worked full time and sent money home to his wife – just so he wouldn’t beat her and the kids. Amazing. Jesus led him right back to his wife and children after the dream. Upon telling his wife what had happened to him, she then said that she would follow Christ if that’s what he was doing.
Yup. Same dude that was punching her face in. Amazing-er.
That was just one of the stories she shared with us last night. Even more amazing.
Both of these friends, like most of my friends, are musically gifted people. One is a signed recording artist, singer/songwriter. The other is a phenomenal pianist, with a very finely tuned musical mind, but he’d never admit that to you. Naturally the conversation found it’s way to the arts, more specifically singing. My songwriter friend shared some new material she was working on with us and it was solid stuff. Really creative and original sound. I’m used to her making good stuff, but this was even above what I was used to. Now that I’m thinking of it, she’d one of the best studio singers I know. She went on to tell us about some frustrations she was having with her label and what she planned on doing to rectify things. That’s when I spotted the guitar nestled in the corner.
I asked, politely, if I could check it out. She said yea, so I went for it.
She was still talking about her label as I tuned the last few strings. I started strumming some arbitrary chords and my pianist friend noticed.
“That’s a nice chord,” he said.
(Just so you know, I was STILL listening to my songwriter friend. Those that know me know I suck at multitasking. But recently I discovered something: I can be engaged in a full on conversation while playing guitar. I haven’t tried other instruments yet, but I can imagine it works with piano and bass too. Drums, ehh not so much…I’m still trying to get a solid coordination down)
I asked if they had heard my latest material and they hadn’t. I figured I’d share a couple songs I’d been working on. I braced myself mentally for the well-meaning red ink that I would be receiving in a few minutes, as these were musically astute folks I was dealing with.
I played the first song. It’s called Hurricane. It has nothing to do with Hurricane Sandy. (Shout out to those who suffered losses and are STILL recovering….keep holding on!) I’ll share some lyrics for context:
Lord, take the reins of my mind
steer me into the eye of this hurricane
where the winds are just calm enough
for me to see.
They were really impressed with the song. I forget exact words but they expressed to me that they really liked it and that is a lot from them. Needless to say I was pleased with this. It boosted me a bit. I went on to share the next song with them, a song called Empty, which you can check out here.
“You need to be signed!”
“You could perform that at a secular gig…and they would listen.”
“I’m not saying that you should not sing gospel music, but that’s better than what the secular artists are doing.”
I took in what they said and began to think about what it is about my music that was so great to them. Then I stopped thinking about that, and started feeling an intense urge to get up and do something about it. I still don’t know where to begin.
“Sign up for some open mics….and not just Christian ones!”
I really want to push this artistry.
“Hit up (music engineer we all know), go get your stuff recorded!”
Somehow, still, there are reservations. I don’t think that on the surface my music has that “life changing” aspect to it yet, and I don’t know what to do to get it either. But then, as I was writing this entry today, it dawned on me:
If Jesus can convert a Muslim to a Christian with something like a dream….and then have that Muslim follow him for two years based on one dream, no church, no leadership, no bible, no nothing but that man….then most definitely he could use my music to touch people’s hearts and bring them closer to Him. Of course He can do that.
I believe that wholeheartedly. Maybe – just maybe – I’m someone’s dream to be had.