Piano Whispers

Much like faith, great gifts need to be passed on and passed down. Hebrews 11:1,6,20-21 says, “Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see… And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him… By faith Isaac blessed (his sons) Jacob and Esau in regard to their future. By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshipped as he leaned on the top of his staff.” Faith was passed on and passed down as the gift of God…

It all started with a six-foot (actually 6′ 1”) baby grand piano that my husband gave to me for our 3rd wedding anniversary. Purchased at an affordable price at a local auction, my husband was only bidding against the auctioneer. So, it became ours. Amazing still after 40 years of marriage! A rosewood cabinet with three intricately carved cabriole legs. An instrument manufactured in 1893, restored in 1907.

The next challenge was to get this great gift not only to our house, but inside our house! A couple guys near the auction site were willing to make some quick cash to help with the moving detail. I will omit many excruciating details, but eventually this beautiful piano made it into our first house of ownership. Great gifts involve sacrifice and cost, of course.

Next, my husband embarked upon refinishing the piano. Again a challenging and tiresome process, but successful. And then I embarked upon teaching piano lessons in my home, even in the midst of having a second baby. A move to another town and a 3rd baby apparently did not dampen my interest in teaching piano lessons. A neighbor teenager provided some babysitting assistance to make this possible. The gift of music continued on.

Since we contracted to build our 2nd house, we added support to the living room floor expressly to undergird the grand piano (pictured in this post). As the years rolled by, we transferred the piano to another room for a few years, setting the wood floor planks on edge. Then we decided to try to sell the piano or donate it. There was a local church that was excited about the possible donation, but just in the realm of God’s perfect timing, my oldest daughter decided to have it. Because of the piano’s size, it now takes up considerable space in her house. But, my granddaughters encouraged the transfer, so it’s now in a 3rd house and it is being enjoyed.

This instrument has many more stories to tell in our family tree. What a great blessing to know that my oldest granddaughter is now continuing piano lessons and playing the keyboard as part of her church worship team. Just when you think an era is possibly over, a grandchild gives you hope that the heritage of music may continue. My mother was a fine arts major and church musician; I was a school chorus and church accompanist; my children followed and took piano lessons that branched into other kinds of instruments (voice included); and two of my granddaughters have proficiency in guitar, violin, and/or piano. The passing on and down has continued…

How like faith this piano was in the passing on and passing down. The interest in it ebbed and flowed over the years. The value of it was sometimes ignored. It sat idle for some years and seasons. But, the story of the piano has reminded me that it was an invaluable gift, never to be taken lightly. Like John 4:10 says, “Jesus answered her (the woman at the well), ‘If you knew the gift of God and Who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.’ “

Sometimes we didn’t know the greatness of the piano gift. But, having been lately reminded, I encourage us all to have eyes to see the gifts in our lives. And, not to ignore the greatest gift of all – faith in Jesus Christ.