A somber note was in the air as Holy week came to a close. Joyous Hallelujahs and waving of palm branches had been replaced by shrouded windows and a cross stripped bare. A single light illuminated the wooden cross and the earthy death Christ would endure in our place, Thank You Jesus. My musical counterpart and I sat in relative darkness, only candlelight and an eerie hue beyond the shadows of the cross to light our way.
He, a classically trained musician, sat at a grand organ, surrounded by keyboards and foot pedals, consuming black dots on white pages to extrude masterful melodies. As candles were extinguished and lights dimmed, my fingers found their way across a slightly out of tune piano, my heartbeat offered a rhythm and my voice faltered as I crumbled beneath lyrical images. Contrasting musicians, contrasting styles, combined to invoke the weight of the cross Christ would carry. In total darkness, the church house emptied, not a word to be spoken.
Sitting in the dark, the Gospel story of the widow’s offering came to mind. The rich gave only a portion of their plenty as a poor woman offered but two copper coins, all that she had. I identified with the widow, leaving everything at the piano (if only two cents worth), playing more by faith than sight. Yet in applying the analogy, I was convicted of being more the rich man, offering only a part of what I had been entrusted with. Perhaps if I spent more time practicing instead of chasing shiny things, I would have more to give like the man to my left, his fingers ablaze across organ keys. He has spent a lifetime of training to offer all that he had at that very moment. Perhaps mine is a lifetime of training as well. Each step I have taken, both good and bad, has prepared me to tell of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, a ransom paid on my behalf. When a lyric written in another time and place aligns with such truth, no amount of practice could prepare me for the weight of sin that I could never carry. Jesus chose to carry it instead and there are not enough words to thank Him.
In the Hands of God, our lives become a lifetime of training, joining our individual talents into an ensemble, the size and shape of the Lord’s choosing: melody and lyric, unknown prayers from a distance, a kind word where there can be no understanding, or simply a caring embrace when there are no words.
If these words have touched your heart, reach out to me at John@LiftedKeys.com and continue the conversation. I would love to know where and in what way God has guided His words through my pen.