Written by Bryan Holmes
I was having one of those quiet and reflective prayer moments this past week inside our family prayer room. There are times throughout the week that I try to go to this place and spend time with the Lord. As my quiet moment went on, I suddenly heard the loud “BANG, BANG, BANG” of the piano coming from the downstairs living room. The prayer room is on the other side of the wall from the living room, so the sound of the piano was too loud for me to continue in my reflective moment with the Lord. I love having a five year old in the house, but it does get hard to concentrate sometimes. I ended my prayer by laughing and saying, “Sorry Lord, you know Jensen.” I found Jensen in the hall and asked him what he was doing. He informed me that “Monkey”- his stuffed animal- was the one playing the piano. I told Jensen that “Monkey” needed to learn to play softer. I really enjoy playing the piano…actually…you could say that it is more than just enjoyment- it is a passion. One of the reasons I am drawn to the piano- or really any instrument- is the level of honesty attached to it. I lay my hands down on those keys and the response I get is immediate honesty. The piano is not capable of doing anything outside of presenting an honest reflection of what is being played by the person setting at it. No one ever questions the feedback that a piano gives…they know it is trustworthy and consistent over time. People also don’t usually get upset at a piano when the feedback isn’t as great as they would like. When I am setting behind my piano, it lets me know immediately when I have done something that is wrong. There was a worship band practice a few weeks back where I temporarily forgot how to play in the key of Eb. That piano…and the rest of the band members…let me know quickly that I was on the wrong path. We laugh about moments like those, but without that honesty I wouldn’t know that I needed to fix something that I had done incorrectly. The Monday Night men’s group is working our way through Romans. We are in chapter 7 currently and I ran across a verse within the passage that stuck out to me in relation to this concept of the piano being an honest reflection of the one playing it.
“Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.” (Romans 7:13 NIV)
Here, Paul is talking about the law being kind of like a mirror into the person who encounters it. Paul didn’t know that coveting was a sin…or even what it was until the law informed him. Once that connection was made, he was able to see himself and the evil that was in him. The law gave Paul an honest reflection of who he was. Paul- and everyone else- needs to see sin as it really is- in its true identity. As I read the Bible, there are several passages that I will run across where I’ll find the same truth over and over again. There is something in my own life that doesn’t line up with what the passage is saying and I need to change. When I think about the piano, I think about how I have improved my playing skills over the years. All the mistakes the piano let me know about have been used to make me a better musician. Do you have anyone in your life that loves you enough to be like the piano to you? Loves you enough to be that honest reflection to you? Do you allow others or God’s word to be that honest reflection for you? I’ll end this musical thought by saying that maybe it is time to change a chord or two!