The other day, I told a missionary woman that I want to write songs about social injustice and political corruption, and then travel the country playing these songs, raising awareness about these issues. I told her that I want to start a movement of sorts – where people act out of care and concern for other people’s well being, instead of just their own.
When I told her this, she simply said, “Well…” and then her voice trailed off.
I thought to myself, surely this woman, out of all people, would understand. A missionary to Colombia; a woman whose entire life has been dedicated to helping other people…Surely she would understand this crazy desire of mine! If she doesn’t, then who will?
I was discouraged by her reaction, to say the least.
After her brief response to my life ambition, she asked about what my main focus would be. I told her that throughout my college career, I have been researching human trafficking (for the record, last week’s blog gives you a brief glimpse into my research). I then explained to her, in a typical, ambitious college student fashion, that I want to bring justice, in whatever way I can, to this issue.
Our conversation didn’t last much longer. The woman I was talking to was the speaker at a women’s conference in Alton, Illinois, where I would be playing music. Shortly after our conversation, the conference started.
Although the conference was quite lovely, I really want to share about something that happened afterwards.
I was playing guitar, providing the background music for the women as they got into groups to pray for each other. While I was playing, the woman I wrote about earlier came over and began to pray for me.
I often feel awkward whenever somebody does this. I don’t know what to do! Do I close my eyes and bow my head? Do I mumble in agreement under my breath? Do I pray for the person after they pray for me? And, in this case, do I keep playing guitar?!
Fighting these questions back, I continued playing guitar, and I also focused on what this woman was praying.
She prayed that my eyes would be open to injustice in this world.
That I would have the words to speak and the songs to sing.
That, as I speak, I would inspire others around me.
That, as I write, my lyrics would be blessed.
That, as I step, my path would be guided.
That I would have courage.
It was then that I realized, she understood.