Last Sunday, I was at Juliani’s launch of his new album “Pulpit on the Street” at City Hall Way, on the Street.
The sound was just amazing, the crowd, electric and the music super super awesome.
Yes, it was an awesomenifying experience.
A couple of things stood out for me: three actually.
One, one of the MC’s, a well-known radio presenter who is a plus size – I forget the PC term for this – seemed very comfortable in her skin doing a jig up there on stage. She was more comfortable in her skin than I was in her skin. My feeling sorry for her was very very clearly a wasted effort. She came to have a good time and a good time was what she was all about.
Two, Juliani communicates in sheng. That’s his thing, his forte. And he gets his message across, with impact, power and relevance. That delivery, however, I had expected yet he surpassed my expectations by far. It occurred to me that his ability to communicate in English is limited and it was comforting that he knows this. Like the MC, I was feeling sorry for him because of his ‘inability’ to communicate clearly in English. Yet another wasted effort. Now, when was I going to enjoy this show in the space of all the analysis, sympathy and playing God? I mean he was already so busy laughing at himself about using kilami and he has a song to his credit about this.
Third, Juliani, as a gospel musician, comes across as anything but gospel. Well, at least the way I have had it that gospel is; especially up to a couple of years ago when I made the amazing like no kidding discovery that Christians and indeed other ‘religious’ people were human. That they even talk like us.
Ever since my baptism experience, I have attempted with increasing misery to fit into the ‘Christian’ mould. ‘Christian’ as I think it should be not as it really is. In one to one conversations with trusted pals, I often share about this relationship that I have with God. I find the experience bordering on the weird especially of its intensely personal and counterintuitive nature. A part of me has been wary of expressing it or even the marching orders that I receive and not heed during my quiet time and morning pages. The weariness comes from a fear of being judged, rejected. Yet, the stuff I am being asked to do is the only thing I can do; I ought to do. Otherwise, I am purposeless. It is driven by what I think others’ agenda is for me. And
Then I watched Juliani expressing his. It was uniquely Juliani. He acknowledged he is living his dream and quipped that should anyone meet him on the streets and he ignores them, it’d be because he was sleepwalking.
I got at that point that God is not asking me to play Christianity, not now anyway. That he wants to use me in my own way. That moment of realization was a most poignant one and I saw a personification of God hitting his forehead repeatedly with the palm of his hand, “That’s exactly what I have been trying to tell you.”
Who’s laughing now? Aha aha aha¹
¹a line from, ‘Exponential Potential’
Album – Pulpit on the Street