Several years ago we were blessed when friends gave us a piano. She was a beautiful piano from the early 1900’s. She needed some exterior work and a little fine-tuning, but, despite her flaws, she held character and beauty. I want to say we must have had her for close to 20 years. When the Piano Man came to tune her and work on her, he always commented on what a great piece she was. Solid Cherry wood, ivory keys and she weighed a ton. When she was given to us, she had been painted antique green, which was, I admit, not very attractive. My intention had always been to strip her down and restore her natural beauty. But, as often is the case, time got away from me and I never completed the project. Finally, Pat began to make comments about finding a new home for her. While I hated to see her go, I saw that it made perfect sense because no one used her. Why not find a good home for her to be enjoyed and allow someone to make beautiful music on her again? Hesitantly, I allowed myself to let her go to someone I believed wanted her and was going to restore her. A truck and trailer arrived with seven very strong men and the ‘ol girl was pushed, shoved and dragged out of the house.
However yesterday, I was shocked to discover that the piano had been destroyed when they decided they didn’t want her after all. Destroyed. As in taken apart and used for scrap. Oh my heart. I grieved all day for her. The piano that played so beautifully for my gifted friend, Ami, was in pieces and parts, her top to become a table. Our friend, Kelly, played and used her for an assignment in college for a music class. The piano Sarah took her lessons on when she was in elementary school. My little daycare friends sat and played her to make “beautiful” music. Even our exchange student, Judy, enjoyed making music on her. And now she is no more. I am so disappointed. I guess that is what I am, disappointed. I am disappointed that I gave our piano to someone I thought was going to use it to make memories on. I thought the family would make music on her and enjoy the beauty of the sound throughout their home. I believed it would bring joy for many years to them. Instead, it was disregarded and destroyed. As I stewed and cried over this news, the Lord began to put it all into perspective for me. Well, the Lord, good friends and a four-year-old boy.
Here is how it has all been summed it all up for me through their counsel.
~ I gave the piano to someone I thought was going to cherish it. I thought she was going to place the same value on it that I did. Now I realize however, that is not the case. What one person may cherish, another one won’t. I wonder if, when God gave us Jesus, He thought we would place the same value on His Son that He did. Is He shocked when Jesus stands at the door knocking and we refuse to open the door? Is He dismayed when we refuse to cherish His most precious gift?
~ It was given as a gift. I gave the piano to her and she was free to do whatever she wanted with the gift. Keep it, sell it, or even destroy it. While I never expected the latter, it was not my decision to make because it was no longer mine. Once you give someone a gift, they are free to choose what they will do with it. Jesus was a Gift and we are free to do whatever we choose with the gift that was given. Accept Him or reject Him. Satan tried to destroy Him. I can only imagine the pain it must cause God’s heart when He sees His Son rejected. He must have been so thrilled when He came up with the perfect plan for our salvation. Imagine it, we no longer would need to slay the animal and offer the sacrifice; He provided the perfect One on our behalf.
~ I think I was hurt, disappointed and honestly, a little offended, that they would disregard how I might feel when they took the piano apart. After all, I believe I had made it pretty clear that it was a struggle to let the piano go. What do you suppose hurts God? What do you think offends Him? Is He hurt when we dishonor Him with our words and actions? Is He offended when we disregard how He might feel when we make excuses for our sin? Look at what Psalm 7:11 tells us about God, “God is a righteous Judge, a God who is angry at evil every single day” (CEB). Notice, He is angry at evil every day; not at you, not at me, but at evil. Oh Lord, help me to never allow my sin to become more valuable to me than the Gift of Your Son. We must remember that God loved us so much that He gave His one and only Son so we could have eternal life (John 3:16). A free Gift, Given for us to have life.
Ian, my four-year-old friend, put it all in proper perspective for me when he shrugged and said, “Kolleen, it’s only a piano” after hearing me tell his dad my story. Yes. It is only a piano and what is done is done. I can’t go back to yesterday and change the outcome, the only thing I can do is listen to the melody of the memories that play in my mind. But, please help me remember He wasn’t “just a man” and He wasn’t “just somebody’s son”… He was God’s Son. He was our Beautiful Gift, sent to us from our loving Heavenly Father, given to us to freely accept or reject.
Now, I realize that I am a very sentimental gal and might hold on to things far longer than I should, but, maybe it is because I don't ever look at anything as junk. I like to believe that one man's junk is another man's treasure and there is hope for everything... and everyone. I happen to believe that is God's take on us too. What we view as junk in our life, or in the life of another, God is willing to take and repair, restore and reuse, if we allow Him. While my piano may be broken and reduced to scraps, I know God has put me back together. Once broken and almost destroyed, He helped me find healing and hope in Him. He also knows a thing or two of being broken and destroyed.
“But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet He never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, He did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, He was led away. No one cared that He died without descendants, that His life was cut short in midstream. But He was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But He was buried like a criminal; He was put in a rich man’s grave” (Isaiah 53: 5-9 NLT).
He didn't stay in the grave and we don't need to either. I knew God would help me put this all in perspective. I love the memories of yesterday and while there are certain things I must learn to let go of, there is One I must always hold tightly to. His name is Jesus. He was the perfect Gift that came at just the right time.