Frustration laces his voice as he tells me why he can’t finish practicing.
The piece is too hard. The book is messed up. He can’t do it.
I listened to him playing “He Leadeth Me” like a drill sergeant just a little while earlier as I was allowing my body to rest and recover from the wonderful-ness that was Allume. I wasn’t sure I wanted anyone leading me like that…sounded a little more like dragging, stomping, demanding.
This boy who is so boy and so demanding and needy and has been since the day he was born. This boy who crashes through life with dirty glasses and his fly unzipped. This boy who is supposed to be playing Mozart, which is fitting since he crashed through life a little, too.
My uncultured boy’s shoulders droop as I send him back to the piano and The Lord sends me after him.
I look at the book, someone played with the stapler and did indeed wreck the book for staying open where it’s supposed to. I dig the staples out and it lies flat again.
I ask him what we get to do when we encounter a hard obstacle, he doesn’t know. So I show him. We pray together and tell God how hard this piece is and wouldn’t He please help us learn it.
I ask this boy with the generous heart if he knows what the piece sounds like. If grandma played it for him he doesn’t remember so I let him listen again to the notes that Mozart wrote so many years ago. I make mistakes but he gets the idea and he remembers the instructions he was given, he can skip the repeats.
I remind him that it is okay to go slow, to check the fingering and count and I leave him to go pluck meat from the turkey bones.
And he does it. He plays through again and again and he gets it, not perfectly, but better than it was.
And I see the crazy grace of God come right out of the piano keys and reminding me that I can go slow…I can check the fingering. I can ask someone to play me a little of the song so I have a reference point. I may need someone to pull some staples out. For now it’s okay to skip the repeats.
This process of uncovering the art that I am made to create is hard. The notes are written down and I stumble in the playing of the song, maybe I sound demanding and harsh. I need to be reminded to slow down and look at the fingering. Count the beats and pay attention to the rests.
This song that the Saviour is singing through me has a melody unlike any other, it is the song of me and I was born to play it. And as I learn it it will become more and more beautiful. It will not be without effort, but it will be recognizable as something that the Master wrote.