Growing up, I loved music, and I was especially intrigued by the piano. So, my aunt gave me a piano that her girls had outgrown. It was a solid rosewood upright, crafted in the latter portion of the 1800s. It was a melodious beauty; it was all mine, and I was thrilled. So, my parents immediately signed me up for piano lessons, a weekly pursuit that would continue for 10 years.
That piano became an extension of who I was and who I would become. I spent countless hours seated in front of that keyboard. Not only did I learn to play and sing, but I began to perform in lots of local venues – schools, churches, weddings, and state convocations. But more than performing in front of a large audience, I learned about that audience of One, as I discovered the joy of truly worshipping my Lord and Savior.
Naturally, when I got married, my piano was part of the deal. My poor husband moved that 800-pound piano back and forth between the Air Force bases where we were stationed. He thought the Second Coming was nigh when he finally garnered enough rank and stripes that the Air Force paid for and carried out those household moves – piano included.
We finally moved back home to Mississippi and parked that old piano in our dream home. Its days of wandering were over, or so we thought. But life has a way of surprising us. We subsequently experienced a series of events that forced us to leave our dream home and the piano behind. I was so grateful when my cousin came and reclaimed her old piano before it was lost to our family forever. That was almost 20 years ago.
Fast forward to this past summer. The piano was in dire straits again, as my cousin and her husband were retiring and downsizing, sans the piano and a myriad of other cumbersome possessions. And since my small home did not have one more foot of empty space, we polled the entire family for takers, to no avail. So, the piano, my childhood pride and joy, went up for sale.
But guess what! We could not sell the piano; we couldn’t even give it away. No one wanted a huge antique piano, no matter how beautiful it looked and how melodious it sounded. No one. And I was heartbroken.
As I pondered and pondered this dilemma, I was reminded of King David. As a child, he spent so much time alone with his sheep and his Shepherd. He learned, like I did playing my piano alone all those years ago, that worship is born out of relationship.
When I first started playing the piano and singing hymns and songs, I did not really know the object of those melodies. I had no clue what those old hymn writers knew. At that point in my childhood, Jesus was merely my Savior.
Now, don’t take that the wrong way. I realize that we are all sinners, in desperate need of the Savior. But amazingly, Jesus wants to be more than our source of salvation; He desires to be our friend.
And as I played and sang those old hymns on my beloved piano, I discovered Who the hymns were written about. He became real to me, more real than my own life and breath. And soon, I wasn’t just singing about Him; I was singing to Him. I was worshipping Him in the beauty of His holiness.
What a treasure I found sitting on a wobbly plywood stool in front of my beautiful rosewood piano.
Yes, the piano is gone. I mourn its loss, but I will forever be grateful for the gift it gave me. And I know that nothing can ever take that gift from me – not life or death or anything in between. For through the melodies of that old piano, I found my friend Jesus.
May He forever be the song of my heart!