Posted by: grantmiho | October 18, 2009

Playing in Harmony

Yesterday, I (Grant) came across an incredible video from my missionary friend, Peter Mead. It features a man and woman harmoniously playing guitar together; but on the same guitar! You can watch the brief clip, 2:36, here.

For someone who could never dare have similar skills musically, their performance resonated with me for several reasons. I found that they were both fully engaged and skilled in what they were doing. It would have fallen apart if one didn’t know their part or lagged in performance. It also showed how beautiful music (or life, or ministry) can be when in harmony.

This struck me as a great image (and sound) for our future life in Japan. We seek to enter this land as a team that will work in harmony to glorify God with our lives. We need to be on the same page playing the same music (vision). Like this couple who had no clear “star,” we passionately want to serve without focus on who is in the spotlight or the star.  Finally, these two musicians are gifted at what they do. God has equally gifted us uniquely and calls us to use them without complaining or comparison to what others have.

I recently have been admiring how God has gifted and wired us. Much of my recent research has focused on Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence theory, which looks at the various ways people express knowledge and learn. Reflecting on ourselves, I see how different Miho is from me, but also how valuable this uniqueness is for our life and ministry. I will offer a few examples. In the Spatial Knowledge category, you would not want me to decorate and arrange your living room, while you also would not want to rely on Miho for navigating you on a road trip. Her ability to imagine both the space and how things will look and fit together made our simple apartments lovely. In the Interpersonal Knowledge category, her perception and discernment of people and motives has benefited me since we first met. She keenly observed tension between some of our team members, of which I was clueless. Over the years, her discernment has proven correct, which is crucial in our role as counselors. Lastly, one aspect of linguistic knowledge is the ability to learn languages. As somewhat expected, Miho is quickly learning in her French class here, while also doing well in an Advanced Hebrew class that is studying the book of Job. While most people know this is not my particular strength, I am patiently progressing in learning Japanese 🙂

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