This morning while slathering strawberry jam on a piece of freshly made sourdough bread (momma's cookin' yo!) i get a text message from my friend eric inviting me for grub with the rest of the indian crew in my old town Berrien Spring. He ends with the information that the legend Justin Yang is in town! Now i share the importance of this name Justin Yang:
Sophomore or Junior year in high school I learn 2 chords on the guitar, Em and G maj.
Justin is the school association pastor and leads worship for chapel time, he finds out that i'm starting guitar and right before he starts chapel asks me to get up on the stage with him on my guitar. I try everything to resist, i explain i only know a couple of chords, that i picked up the guitar to learn smashing pumpkins songs, but it all proved futile, i don't think anyone can say no to his smile, this kid beamed all day, his joy of being in God was his spring of life and was very contagious to those around him. So after many verbal and physical tugs i get on the stage, out of the corner of his eye he says ' just follow me, you'll be fine '. 4 songs later i've butchered every song, i sit back in the school body and Justin comes down to sit by me "Tommy! that was great! you have to play again tomorrow!" In my mind i'm like "did you hear anything i did?" but something about his excitement said that he believed in me more then i did in myself. The following weeks and months, there i was behind Justin Yang learning guitar from worship songs and i begin to understand guitar so quickly that i think something of it. If i was going no where trying to learn smashing pumpkins and now was quickly learning guitar because of praise songs, then God must be more real then i've ever thought.
The next year i took the role of school association pastor and tried to fill his shoes. I would refer to his passion for God in our school as a tangible and personal friend, I learned from him that our First Love was also our Best Friend. Tonight after 8 yrs, i see him again. I think i'm about to cry. :D
Justin Yang is the reason i play guitar, why i'm a minister of reconciliation through music, the reason that fueled my ears to hear Gods calling in my life. I would serve anywhere with him.
Isaiah 6:8 "here i am send me"
That verse has been my inspiration and has been revealed very personally through the way my friend Justin Yang has lived his life. I pray to be the same.