Monday, June 17, 2013

Everything Here is Broken

The Kingsmen band Reid was in had a lot of gigs.  About 30 in the course of 5 years.  Some were on large stages; once was at the Belly Up. Others were rather funky spaces.  Maybe that's true of all bands.  My music industry experience is still more limited than my imagination.

Once we found ourselves at the Park Avenue Gallery on El Cajon Blvd. These North county suburban families and our naive, clean cut boys were slightly unaccustomed to the urban environment.  In daylight, it may have felt different.  Arriving at night, I could feel the malaise form the other moms. Where are we? Is this safe? Next tothe clogged entry, a back alley lurked with mystery.

I had booked the gig so came the weight of responsibility.  It was an art gallery operated by a church.  Surely, we'd be fine. As the night wore on, we all settled into the vintage vibe of the veneer wood wall panels, low ceiling and the interplay of bare bulbs and twinkling Christmas lights.  As Angela and the boys set up their equipment, we introduced ourselves to the sound guy and manager, quickly realizing he was one in the same.

Joey (name changed) is perhaps the most persnickety of the bandmates.  As polite and mannerly as a character on Barney's television set, he shook the man's hand. Then observed him digging miscellaneous amps and equipment out of the dark backstage. Joey is as honest as he is polite.  Asking for a power cord he commented, "That cord's broken."

"The floor's dirty. I'm not sure that will work. We don't want anyone to trip," he continued noticing.

His tone and posture might flag anxiety to a shrink.  To us, it was just Joey being Joey pre-show worrying that the muzak would be turned off in time and that no cables present a fire hazard. He's a persistent perfectionist. As the patient manager produced more and more equipment to meet our needs, he continued.  The stand was wobbly.  The keyboard stand missing a leg cap.

"That's broken," he offered again for emphasis.

Finally with kindness and a deeper understanding, the gracious soundguy-manager said, "Joey, everything here is broken."

True that. Present company included. No problem. Let's make music anyway and enjoy it.

God created a perfect world. Sin entered. It's a fallen world now. We are all broken. But there's a plan of carry on...eyes forward...let's sing.

Warm and gracious, with that simple truth, he set the tone and instantly we were safe.  Seeing his eyes, I knew nothing could go wrong. Anything the boys might do or not do, would be fine.  He's cool! They're cool. We're all good. That was Jesus in him.

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath. Psalm 34:17-19 

Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross. Colossians 1:17-19 

Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails!  Psalm 51:6-8 

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