Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Piano Diaries: PART IV

She's here!

I've named her Baby Grace. She's a svelte 1000 lb black beauty. What a blessing God has graciously loaned to us.

The men that came to deliver her were an assortment of professionals and regular guys, as well as a couple staff members from church, including our head pastor! I was happy to get all their signatures in our guest closet, and then just as soon as they arrived, it seemed, I was left home alone with the piano. I played a few songs, and she seemed in good tune even for all the moving.

Hubby will be enjoying her tonight, no doubt about it.

A picture is worth a thousand words, er, a thousand pounds?!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Piano Diaries: PART III

At the moment I am awaiting the delivery of a nine foot Yamaha grand to my newly painted and carpeted living room. Hubby and I prepared the room with the anxious fervor of new parents preparing a nursery.
I hardly know how to describe my emotions, other than, "ecstatic!"
Or maybe "terrified!" At the thought of moving that large an instrument, even though we've hired professionals. 
This is in actuality not our piano, but we are storing it for our church. 
This is a trust we feel honored to have bestowed on us. And as much as we'd wanted to enjoy a piano like this in our home, it is a bigger responsibility than I could have anticipated. 
The large sounding board gives this piano a rich sound unlike many pianos I've played, and I'm humbled at the opportunity to try to play in a manner that's worthy of its capacity. 
I'm working on a name for her. 
Will keep you posted. 

The Twins

The news hatched another monster story today. This time children were among the victims. This has to stop, I thought as I filed it under tragedies that are far away, but may come close all too soon. While this tragedy was unfolding, I was waging a battle of my own with evil, and it all happened during church. 

Contemplating evil and trying to sort the levels of evil is not a job for the faint of heart, but it seems that if someone could just take out the maniacs who keep blowing themselves up along with whoever's close, the world would be a better place, and certainly a safer place.  This form of evil is so very crystal clear. And I myself do not engage in it. Subject closed.

Not really.

A small voice reminded me that to hate is to kill. The smallest act of hatred is evil that can blossom into all forms of murder. The subtle cold shoulder, the snide remark, the well-placed lift of the eyebrow, the suggestion of one's own superiority can be ever so camouflaged in a show of humility so convincing that only those who know you well can detect it. You can, of course, even fool yourself. 

And in my very morally superior castle, I reign as the queen. But there, you see, lies my problem. I cannot see to solve another's problems for the beam in my own eye. Though I harangue and rightly so, condemn evil and ego alike, it resides within me. The suburban American housewife who shops at Costco, attends church and is faithful to her husband of 30 years. In other words, crystal clear evil has an opague evil twin and it is self-rightousness. If Isis has a corner on evil acts, the American church has a corner on self-righteousness.

I venture to say, that until we all are able to swallow this bitter pill, we can have no hope of understanding the world. It is all very well to hope for a brighter future, and to give to charities, and world missions, to support the troops, and to buy girl scout cookies, but the real hope of the world is truly a heartbeat away from every one of us.

The Savior told us, 

"I am the light of the world"

"I am the bread of life"

"I have living water"

"I have overcome the world"

 and most reassuringly --

"I am with you always". 

So unless we are looking to him for the quintessential answer, indeed unless we realize that the question is, "Who shall save us?" we may as well all strap on the explosives and give it up now. Death and destruction is the only paradigm that makes sense. Without the hope of the world, it is no wonder people are destroying each other.

One result of recognizing your own weaknesses is compassion for others.  Make this small change in your heart daily. Every action has a consequence. We can't afford to go the other way much longer.