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Friday, June 12, 2015

Listen for the Music

Photo Credit:  earl53 from
At the end of May, my family was treated to a piano recital.  It was indeed a treat because my 8-year-old daughter and seventeen other kiddos sat down one by one behind the ebony and ivory keys and made an ordinary piano come to life.  It’s even more amazing for me personally because I couldn’t play a song on the piano if my life depended on it. 

My daughter has tried to teach me bits and pieces along the way at home, but it just hasn't clicked.  Bless her heart; she attempts to be patient with her momma.  She even put the little letter stickers on the keys for my benefit.  Nope.  Still didn't work.  The letters on a computer keyboard?  Not a problem.  Letters on piano keys?  Just.  Cannot.  Do.  It.

A couple of the selections during that memorable evening were from my all-time-favorite-movie, "The Sound of Music."  Oh, how I just love that classic!  I adore the power of the music, the von Trapp family, the love story between Maria and the Captain, the way the nuns helped the family flee, etc.  The songs are so contagious that I can't help but sing along when I hear the first few words to any of them...anywhere…anytime…"My Favorite Things", "Edelweiss", "Do-Re-Mi", “Maria”, "So Long, Farewell."

During the recital, I marveled at how each child tickled the ivories in their own unique way and made a beautiful sound.  Each of them confidently walked over to the piano bench with their sheet music tucked neatly in a black binder.  They sat down, took a deep breath (their parents and grandparents did too), opened their binder, and placed their fingers gently over the keys.  Then…the music began.  Many of the songs had my feet tapping and my head bobbing a bit.

The last young man to grace us with his talent was named Justin.  I noticed right away that Justin didn’t have his black binder.  I gulped and thought, “Oh no!  He forgot his binder.  He must be so nervous.  What is he going to do?”  However, Justin didn’t seem to mind at all that he didn’t have his binder.  He calmly strolled up to the piano, sat down, and wowed us with a musical piece that he played from memory.  Did I say wow?  Yea, that’s just putting it mildly.  I was captivated, fascinated, and mesmerized.  He basically rocked it and I was so blessed to be a member of the audience that night.

I’ve never played an instrument (well, an autoharp and recorder in grade school, if those count) and I can’t read music.  However, I do know that my life would be empty without it.  Music stirs something deep within my soul.

For instance, I was holding it together relatively well at my son's 5th grade graduation ceremony...until the music began.  Junior High here we come.  They had a slideshow with pictures taken throughout the year, PLUS the baby photos (oh, don't get me started...).  I did fairly well until I heard the music.  I can’t even remember the words to the sentimental songs because I was trying to wipe away the tears and the tiny pieces of ultra-thin toilet paper off my face (I didn't have one decent tissue in my purse, so my last resort was toilet paper from the school bathroom....ugh.)  Yes.  All because of music...

In addition to my tear ducts, music also has a magical effect on my feet.  It can happen when I least expect it.  When I'm in the grocery store, for example, and I hear a lively beat overhead; I cannot help myself.  I bebop, tap my toes, sway back and forth with my shopping cart, and essentially get my groove on...right there in aisle 4 next to the mac and cheese.  Good times.

If we listen for the music, we'll realize that music marks many of the different seasons of our lives.  The music of that first dance with our sweetheart.  “Here Comes the Bride” at a wedding.  The music of a newborn baby's cry.  The Happy Birthday song as we are blessed with another year of life.  Pomp and Circumstance at Graduation.  Auld Lang Syne every New Year's Eve.  The sound of the very last breath that a loved one takes…

Listen for the music.

Have you ever listened to the way the salty waves kiss the sand?  Have you ever listened to frogs singing at night after a rain?  Have you ever taken the time to listen to your children breathing as they sleep?

How about the music of a loved ones’ voice or laugh?  How about the sweet sounds of “I love you,” “I forgive you,” “I’m sorry,” and “Thank you?”  And, for my precious goddaughter…how about the music of that bell ringing on June 8th to mark the end of her rigorous months of chemo?  A glorious sound, indeed!  We love you, Sydney!

Truly, our summer has begun.  In addition to the music of louder bickering coming from our backseat; I assure you that I’m listening extra carefully for the music that God provides.  It’s there.  Through the music of my children quarrelling, I try to remember that they are arguing because they are alive and healthy.  I need to dig down deeper to have an attitude of gratitude.

I believe that God speaks to us through music.  Some people prefer classical or jazz and they let their thoughts just float and flow.  Many like the inspirational words of a song to reflect upon.  Others enjoy the music of nature.  A few enjoy the music found in the silence.  We have to listen closely for that one.  The sounds of our very breath and heartbeat are musical gifts we take for granted. 

The music is there.  God is there.

Music is a beautiful part of life.  When life gives us music…I hope we listen.  When life gives us music...I hope we sing.  When life gives us music…I hope we dance.  Promise me that you’ll never miss a chance to dance.  I know I won’t.

Listen for the music and have a wonderful week, Sunshines!