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Thoughts from a Musician's Heart



I am writing from Thailand, where I have come to conduct the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra several times per year over the last 5 years. The first time I came, after the first rehearsal, a member of the orchestra came up to me and asked, “You’ve conducted at the Masterworks Festival, haven’t you?” He had received a Facebook message from someone who had worked with me.

This young man is a Christian who has undergone severe life challenges over the past couple of years, bringing him to the point of contemplating taking his own life. Each time I have come we have spent time together, often having very difficult conversations, as he has struggled to hold on to his faith. We have walked this path together, holding hands from either side of the world. Last night, over dinner, he told me that he had gone back to church and was connecting with people in his Bangkok suburb for fellowship. He said, “I think I’ve finally come out on the other side.”

This is what brotherhood in Christ looks like. It’s very messy, not filled with convenient answers and predictable scripture verses (helpful as they may be). It’s living the difficulties of life together, shouldering the pain as well as the joys, loving one another, regardless the outcome.

I love Thailand, I love the TPO, but I love this young man more. Our loving Heavenly Father has given us such a gift in this friendship, which perhaps means even more to me than it does to him.

During our dinner last evening another gentleman, a member of the orchestra, joined us for a while. Folding into our conversation, at one point he said, “Jesus and I have not been friendly for a very long time.” I asked, “I’m guessing that was someone else’s fault . . .?” The ensuing conversation suggested an open door to what may become another opportunity to share the messiness of life with someone else. Thanks be to God.

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