Me: That is an antique!
Prodigal: Yes, but it still works.
Me: Here is another story with antiques in them.
This is from the book When God Whispers Your Name by Max Lucado
My wife loves antiques. I don’t. (I find them a bit old.) But because I love my wife. I occasionally find myself guiding three children through an antique store while Denalyn shops.
Such is the price of love.
The secret to survival in a shop of relics is to find a chair and an old book and settle down for the long haul. That’s what I did yesterday. After cautioning the kids to look with their eyes and not with their hands. I sat down in an overstuffed rocker with some Life magazines form the fifties.
That’s when I heard the music. Piano music. Beautiful music. Vintage Rogers and Hammerstein. The hills were alive with the sound of someone’s skill at the keyboard.
I turned to see who was playing but couldn’t see anyone. I stood and walked closer. A small group of listeners had gathered at the old upright piano. Between the furniture I could see the small back of the pianist. Why, it’s only a child! With a few more steps I could see her hair. Short, blonde, and cute like….My heart, it’s Andrea!
Our seven-year-old was at the piano, her hands racing up and down the keyboard. I was stunned. What gift of heaven is this that she can play in such a way? Must be a time-released gene she got from my side of the family. But as I drew closer, I saw the real reason. Andrea was “playing” a player piano. She wasn’t making the music; she was following it. She wasn’t commanding the keyboard; she was trying to keep up with it. Though it appeared she was playing the song, in reality, she was only trying to keep up with one already written. When a key would dip, her hands would dash.
Oh, but if you could have seen her little face, delighted with laughter! Eyes dancing as would her feet had she been able to stand and play at the same time.
I could see why she was so happy. She sat down to attempt “Chopsticks” but instead played “The Sound of Music.” What’s more, she couldn’t fail. One greater than she was dictating the sound. Andrea was free to play as much as she wanted, knowing the music would never suffer.
It’s no wonder she rejoiced. She had every reason to. And so do we.
Hasn’t God promised the same to us? We sit at the keyboard, willing to play the only song we know, only to discover a new song. A sublime song. And nobody is more surprised than we are when our meager efforts are converted into melodious moments.
You have one, you know, a song all your own. Each of us does. The only question is, will you play it?
By the way, as I watched Andrea “play” that day in the antique store I observed a couple of things.
I noticed the piano got all the credit. The gathered crowd appreciated Andrea’s efforts, but they knew the real source of the music. When God works, the same is true. We may applaud the disciple, but no one knows better than the disciple who really deserves the praise.
But that doesn’t keep the disciple from sitting at the bench. It sure didn’t keep Andrea from sitting at the piano. Why? Because she knew she couldn’t fail. Even though she didn’t understand how it worked, she knew it did.
So she sat at the keyboard–and had the time of her life.
Even though you may not understand how God works, you know he does.
So go ahead. Pull up a bench, take your seat at the piano, and play.
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Jennifer Van Allen