There is a guitar in the common room on the second floor of the school I am living in.  I don’t know who owns it, but there are about six students who will pick it up over the course of a given day to either strum, sing, practice or relax.  This school is designed to prepare the leaders of Churches.  The guest professors travel here from the United States, Italy, Britain, and other parts of Albania.  Typically a class will last for two weeks.  Currently one of our guest professors is a man named Rick.  He is the pastor of an Albanian church in Philadelphia and is quite a musician.  Rick is teaching an introductory course on Islam which I have been sitting in on.  Rick knows a dozen or so Albanian praise songs and probably a hundred or more praise songs and ballads in English.  This evening at around 9PM I got to listen to him singing with Riza, one of the second year students.

I have been struck in the past with the power of worship in a language I don’t understand.  There is of course the old wisdom which teaches that worship is primarily for God.  The human participants are to be totally tuned in to a communion with Him.  The fact that I may or may not understand the words is irrelevant.  God understands.  That is where the power of the experience comes from.  Energy from the heart of the people is poured out to the creator of Heaven and Earth and a way that feels is both indescribable and undeniable.  I find myself doing my best to mirror any repetition in words or phrases with blurting, sputtering, babel of my own.  I want so badly to participate but all I can muster is my best.

Tomorrow morning I will be going to Qender Stefan with Pastors Rick and Bill.  I am going to be treated to an American breakfast; the definition of which I am anticipating only through my impending experience.  “American Breakfast,” sounds exotic.  Perhaps those reading this can visit a local IHOP or Denny’s, Sherries or Cracker Barrel, and think of me over some salt infused animal protein.

I hope you do.