The chatter fades as the orchestra begins its tuning ritual. The introductions are lost in anticipation as the audience falls silent. Words are heard but soon the music dances and swirls around the room driving the words out of memory. The music like a spirit plays with each individual; it teases and taunts, pleases and frustrates, circles into the center, then rushes out to the edges of the round room. The balanced sound captures the attention of even the least discerning in the room. The native Indian flute is the focus of this concert and a reverently adorned musician takes center stage in full head dress of an Indian Chief. The haunting sound floats like the floor length undulating edge of colorful feathers, wrapping each person in a heavy wool quilt, connecting each to something unnerving but warm. Time seems to stand still as the sound spirals and soars then …the awed silence… no one dare move or breathe… slowly the connection is lost and the audience claps.
I gathered my kids after the concert, wondering if they would ever be the same. I knew that I would not. It was perhaps my first glimpse of something real outside of my Christian world. I responded to this concert in the most bias opinionated way possible. My quick pre-programmed response was that the American Indian culture was pagan and I tried to believe it was evil. But inwardly this concert challenged my bias at its very core. I knew I had glimpsed, if only for a moment, a fragment of truth. It was a gift given to me and I pondered it for years. Could the God of the universe dare to work in other cultures? Could every culture have bits and pieces of who God really is?
The problem with resonating truth is that it keeps vibrating through our spirits long after the event. Truth is not easily dismissed; it is the mesmerizing song of a lover longing for a moment of connection. It is God’s gift of grace to each individual as he calls us into truth. This moment awakened the yearning in my spirit to connect to something bigger. It challenged me to find more and more connection points. How do we connect to God? How does God call us into relationship? Could my decision to pursue truth and live more authentically trigger a larger reaction somewhere else in the system? Could my decision to know God and pursue truth cause a catastrophic shift?
I was for the first time recognizing that I could change the world around me through small decisions. I could decide to love and be loved and in so doing I could change the reactions of everyone in my sphere of influence. I could decide to give other people grace. I could decide to view the world through the lens of love instead of viewing it through the lens of fear and maybe just maybe I would trigger a real change. An honest look at the connection I felt that day in the concert hall began the slow process of realization that there are no evil atoms in the universe. That all atoms are connected and react to each other in organized ways and I am connected to this system. I began to look for other connection points. Did they exist in different cultures, religions, and formats? It would be many years before I would learn the art of listening and trusting the Holy Spirit to guide me into truth. It has always been my deep desire to know God, and be known by God and it is this desire that wooed me into listening to His haunting voice. His voice was calling and wrapping me in love. Longing for connection, loving unconditionally, and relentlessly pursuing relationship, His voice was life. His voice was and is life and I was becoming intimately aware that He was charming me with poetry and song.