I Am a Mender: Angie.
I could have never imagined that I would be a part of a worship band. After college, my path in life was clear in the field of music therapy with children and adults with disabilities. I had a successful practice and was beginning to publish some research, when a holy interruption came three years ago.
I was invited to lead worship at the Duke Divinity Center for Reconciliation Summer Institute in 2011. I am positive that I must have been the last person they called because I had no credentials besides the
fact that I led worship at my church every so
often. And this was no ordinary crowd at this conference; it was an intimate gathering of leaders from all over the world who sought retreat and inspiration in their
work of reconciliation around the world. Catholic and protestant, young and
academics and practitioners, the worship services were to reflect each voice from the different parts of the world. Eager and much afraid, I decided to take on the challenge, but I knew that my narrow scope of worship practices would not cover the diversity of the participants. I called up some friends of mine, and together we forged our way through the week.
What we didn’t know was that the Lord had plans for us to continue down the path of what it meant to journey together in facilitating worship experiences along the lines of reconciliation. We continue to discover the degree to which worship serves as the very content to facilitate reconciliation and to break down the walls that divide us. We also realized that as a band these areas would be exposed within our collaborative process. As the band leader and facilitator, I knew that it would take time before all of us felt equal at the table. It took nearly two years for some of us to be awakened to our own voice and to take ownership as an equal partner in our family. I like to think of it as a microcosm of what the work of reconciliation may look like.
We have learned much and still have much to learn, but as a Rwandan proverb states, “If you want to go fast, walk alone. But if you want to go far, walk together.”