The Pianist

So it begins. The day has been long, this whole life journey has been long. I find it hard to speak positive words, hard to pray, hard to be joyful. I have read James today, I have whispered earnest prayers, I have read others encouraging words, searching for some kind of direction – some kind of peace.

As I sit with others, listening to requests, sickness, death and discouragement seem to be running rampant. Others who live life day by day, hour by hour, they are struggling as well. Our heads bow, each person different but each heart yearning for the same thing.

So it begins. Slowly, quietly, the fingers seem to barely tap the keys. It is not a familiar tune, no, it is from the heart. Prayer begins, words flowing with the melody. As the words begin to pierce through the darkness of our days, the chords pierce through my heart. As hard as I have found it to pray, to speak these truths, the music alleviates the pressure that holds them down. The pace picks up, the keys are played more fervently. The words seem to just spew out. The freedom begins to rain down.

Yes, it has begun. Often I find myself in these moments. These hard moments where my words seem meaningless, if I can even get them out. Then, the piano begins. I could stand and listen to the anointed melody, I could stand and just let the chords wash away the pain, the confusion, the doubt. Even though there are no words, it is the ebb and flow that draws me in. Her fingers seem to pray as they play, each measure a petition. There are measures of praise, measures of mourning, measures of worship, measures of adoration. Her voice never speaks, but her fingers do. In her playing, the release comes.

My son, Zeb, once suggested that worship was like learning to play football. He had struggled his first year, trying to learn what to do, trying to learn that being aggressive was okay. I asked him one day, quite randomly, what worship was. He said worship was different for everyone. Some people like it fast, some like it slow. Some people like newer stuff, and others like the older songs. But, his next comment was what stopped me in my tracks. “You know mom, it’s like when you’re learning to play football. You can know what you’re supposed to do, but you have to feel it and then you just do it.”

Such wise words. Sometimes it takes feeling it instead of talking it. It’s our actions that speak, that move, that minister. When I stand, surrendered, listening to the pianist pray with her hands, I find myself lost in Him.

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