Practice takes place every Saturday between 4pm and 6pm. 2 hours are normally enough to have a personal fellowship with God, share the week’s experiences with one another, learn one or two new songs and finalize on the praise and worship script for the main service the next day – Sunday.
So you are there early because unlike most praise team members, Saturdays are not your busy days. In fact, the only thing you look forward to, throughout the week, more than the Saturday practice is Fridays. That’s simply because while your peers are busy choking their lungs in night clubs, you can sleep peacefully and wake up an hour before practice time on Saturday. You simply love the Saturday practice sessions more than you love your favorite food. Besides giving you a sense of hope and direction, Saturday practice sessions make you feel whole. They make you feel complete not only as a human being but also as a person.
And while you do not subscribe to the loud prayers that some members utilize as the sessions start, you don’t mind sitting next to or holding hands with that crop of believers. Being a quiet and more reserved person, you prefer to pray at heart. After all, is it not written in scripture that God listens to our hearts, whether we pray silently or in loud voices?
Unlike prayers however, singing is different. It’s said that while everyone can sing, not everyone should sing. And while everyone can dance, not everyone should dance. Singing is not like praying. As far as prayers are involved, anyone can pray. In fact, everyone should pray. But when it comes to singing, not everyone should hit the high notes. Not when you have a voice like mine!
With a voice like mine, you will attend the Saturday practice earlier than everybody else and wearing your Sunday best runners up attire. When people start arriving, they will find you’ve already set up the microphones and are just about to power on the mixer. As members continue to come one after another, the pianist will start to do the magic he does with his fingers, speakers will amplify his brilliance and that short beautiful lady who leads worship, not Liz but the ka-light skin one, will start to invite the presence of God in a manner that only she knows how
Then her phone rings. And since practice hasn’t started like officially, she walks outside the church to pick the call. It could be an important call – maybe a family member or something. At least church girls, born again church girls, do not have sponsors. Do they?
You, having started to feel the presence of God, slowly walk over to the microphone to continue with the song. The pianist continues to play. The drums roll as the bass guitar man fills in.
Who am I Lord – Who am I to sing your praises
Just as you try to pull through the who am I to worship you Lord, line, everything stops. The pianist starts to laugh. The other members join in. then it dawns in you that you hit the right note with the wrong key.
“Hahaha! Mbai utatumaliza! Unataka kuimba Imela kama Ohangla hapa? Hahaha” the pianist jokes.
Everyone laughs except you. You see nothing funny about missing a note. You try to hold yourself together but are soon defeated. So unajitoa cobwebs then you rub your hands together and start smiling as you look at the pianist.
“Izi nyimbo zilikuja na meli buda!” you say as you look at him
“Ukweli bro! Ukweli!” He responds
“Play that thing we try again.” You say in a humble tone
“Bro acha tu ule dem alikua anaimba akam aendelee kuimba! Wewe kidogo sauti zii!” He responds.
Everyone in the room breaks into laughter. You laugh as well. It’s supposed to be a light joke but you take it personal. It tears through your heart and before they know it, you are offended. The practice session you so much looked forward to turns sour and you now want to leave and go back home as quick as you wanted to come in. But you are a man. Men don’t give up easily. You think of a quick fix line and just before you throw it back at him, the meeting is called to order. People hold hands to pray and all you can think about as the person praying says ‘forgive us our sins Ooh Lord’ is how you are going to revenge that joke!
Remember that day you took your small brother shopping at TRM? Carrefour was still new in the premises I understand. Remember how you guys were broke and how you convinced your brother that dad had sent you enough cash for shopping? Do you even remember how you made him take the big trolley, filled it with the big and large items, snacks and drinks? You convinced him beyond doubts that dad had sent enough cash to cater for shopping that could last you for six months. Your small brother thanked the gods that day but as he pushed the trolley behind you and over to the counter, you matched straight outside and left him at the cashier all alone! No cash! No word! Nothing! He stood at there thinking you had gone to withdraw funds but you never returned! And did he ever revenge when you later explained that you guys were so broke that you had to do something to make him smile for a while, regardless of how stupid it was? Did he?
And how many times did you ask Njeri (your x) out for a date only to go mteja on the meeting day? It’s true you guys broke up kitambo and as you say, you really never had feelings for her but you’ve done that even with Christine. Yet you claim to love Christine more than you love yourself. Does she ever fail to pick your call even when she is with her male friends? And when you lie to her like you always to with you other women, does she revenge? No! So you now want to revenge because a pianist has told you the truth about your voice? Grow up!
The person praying concludes the prayers and everyone shouts a big amen. People take their position to start the practice and remembering you can’t sing, you walk over to the pianist and before you can say a single word to him, he is like
“Bro! kuimba sio ya kila mtu! But if you are willing, I can teach you to play the piano or the drumset.”
You smile and look at him. You don’t know whether to hug him or to tell him to teach you both instruments. The need to revenge is long gone. He that closed one door has opened another one for you and in your imperfect nature, he is willing to help you get perfect