Think of your favorite gospel musician.
Is it the timeless Don Moen, whose soothing voice has filled many living rooms and churches over the last few decades?
Or is it Travis Greene whose song, ‘He made a Way’ has become a contemporary classic? Or maybe the Hillsong worship team, whose live songs can leave you feeling like you are literally rising to heaven?
For me, it will always be Keith Green, whose CDs, purchased more than ten years ago at South Africa’s O.R Tambo International Airport, are among my most prized possessions. His song, ‘I make my life a prayer to you,’ brought tears to my eyes on numerous occasions. He was an insanely talented pianist who would bang his fingers into the piano keys as if they were drums. He would do that even as he sang with such gusto that it felt as if he was pouring his entire life into every song. He tragically died in a plane crash at only 28 years.
One day, the name Sunil Kadzo Hamisi may just be among the list of your favorite gospel musicians. This 27-year-old lady from Malindi is a cousin-friend of mine and currently one of the worship team members at Nairobi Chapel. I have been a fan of her music for more than a decade. Yes, that’s how long she has been singing.
On 12th October, 2019, the same day that Eliud Kipchoge became the first human to run the marathon in less than two hours, I ran with her in Karura Forest. Well, more accurately, I cycled for ten kilometers alone then walked with her for six kilometers. She did run for the final sixth kilomter, but boy was she tired! What matters though is that she took the first step towards either running or walking regularly. As Bwak the Bantu poet always says, ‘even one small step forward takes you closer to your destination.’
When we were commencing our cycling-walking-running, we came across a wedding procession right there in the forest. The bride was resplendent in a flowing white gown. She looked like an angel in the trees and I silently prayed that the beauty of this moment would spill over into her marriage. These days, too many beautiful weddings end up in ugly marriages.
“Does this wedding procession remind you of your own wedding?” I asked Sunil. Her wedding had been almost one year earlier in Malindi.
“The wedding dress does,” she said with nostalgia.
Thankfully, her marriage to Lenny has remained incomparably more beautiful than the wedding. As it should be.
What causes the dance of a marriage to stop? When the music of love goes silent.
But what exactly do we mean by the ‘music of love?’ Food for thought. Sometimes this music is exultant, lifting you off your feet into each other’s’ arms. Sometimes, it’s serene like a mountain stream, filling you with a peace that leaves your hearts smiling. But other times, it seems to disappear altogether, causing the dance to stop. Why? How can you find that music again? This anonymous quote sheds some insights into this, ‘Do what you did in the beginning of a relationship and there won’t be an end.’
Back to literal music, I am listening to Keith Green’s, ‘Oh Lord you are beautiful’ as I write this. His piano skills were epic, only second to his overflowing passion for God.
Am thinking that the music never departs from the river of passion. So we have to dive back into this river if we want to recapture the music.
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