How is PET connected to jazz?

Let’s make more music.

PET MO-Columbia update 8-4-16
PETs built since 1-1-16 #973

I have a friend who is a pastor, a seminary professor, and a jazz pianist. Recently I heard a DVD of his telling and demonstrating the role of jazz in the African American Community. There are two major themes to the music, he said, feel the pain and share the grace. Feel the pain and share the grace. I like that. It speaks of what is probably my favorite Christian song, “Amazing Grace.” It details the pains – blindness, lostness. Then it speaks of the grace, of receiving sight (spiritual sight) and being found. The writer of that song had been a professional slave trader but began to “see” the error of his ways and received the grace of a new way of life.

Jazz music, my friend says, is a musical setting for that. He demonstrated the chords and rhythms of both pain and suffering, and I began to understand jazz better. Here at PET we play jazz music with saws and welders and grinders and drills and staplers and computers and checkbooks. We feel the pain as stories come to us of our sisters and brothers crawling upon the ground, sometimes as beggars, for years, because of their leg handicap. We sense their lostness from society and meaningful life.

(Alecia receives a PET.)

We also admit to our own “blindness” and “lostness” that we and our society did not sooner recognize their plight and do something about it. We see that in many ways we are now, in our response to the leg handicapped, now “found.” The chords of their suffering come to us in stories and in pictures, and in person as we go to deliver PETs. We respond to that with the music of our shop, which fills my ears now as I write.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. Feel the pain, share the grace.


“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin

Mel West, Director Emeritus
PET MO–Columbia, Inc.

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