A Piano Lesson

May 31, 2013

For years I have known that although I am no Liberace, I love the piano. I have two of them. One was a gift on my fiftieth birthday. It sits in my home in Raleigh. The other is a piano that was in my office in the church, bought on the cheap and a little tinny. Still it has all its keys and is in tune enough to pray with. I play it when we are at the river. My piano is my altar… a much as any place I have ever found to pray. I have a cross, a lamp, and pictures of the people I love most in my life sitting on it. I sit and play and pray. I am not a great piano player. The most I ever play in public is on Christmas Eve after a glass of wine. My husband calls me “Thumbs,” if that tells you the level of my competence as a pianist.  But actual piano prowess is not my purpose in playing. Prayer is. I play the tunes I know by heart and by ear. Then I start in the books I keep in the music stand. I stopped tonight at a tune and melody by David Haas. “You Are Mine.” It is in The Faith We Sing and also in the Upper Room Worship Book. By the second play through, I was in tears. I was remembering Laura Wackerman, who loved this song. She died with melanoma several years ago. By verse three, I was praying for Ann and Carole and others whose names floated to my mind and heart, and the tears welled up so deeply, I could only attempt the notes. “Do not be afraid, I am with you. I have called you out by name. Come and follow me, I will take you home. I love you and you are mine.” My faith is so strong and my ability- or lack thereof - to proclaim the assurance of Christ’s love and to shout Christ’s victory over death seems so inadequate to give peace to those whom I know are facing death and likely afraid in the night. Let the message carried in the tune I played convince and comfort. Music is like all sound. The notes go out in a percussive way, in waves like ripples in the air. I pray my meager notes on the piano and my prayers will carry into this broken world with a message of hope. Hear this, Virtual Church, subscribers and spammers alike. God loves you and claims you as God’s own. “You are mine,” God says. That is a promise to sleep on. Amen.