Thursday, October 7, 2010

Broken Strings

This past weekend I climbed up and down from my attic as I brought out my fall decorations. On one of my trips down the ladder, my oldest daughter came into the garage in a hysterical state. Her face was white as a sheet, she held her hands by her face trembling, tears flowing down her cheeks, voice paralyzed. It was as if she had seen something terrible and was unable to catch her breath. I attempted several times to find out what had happened to her and she could not get the words out. I had no idea what she was in horror over.

Finally, I grabbed her trembling hands, pulled her close to me and told her that unless she told me what had happened, I couldn’t fix it. She then took a deep breath and uttered these words:

“My violin….(sob,sob)….I broke one of the strings….(gasp for air)…. I didn’t mean to.”

After all of the terrible things it could have been, simply a broken string.

As I began to persuade her that everything would be ok, she continued her frantic explanation. “I promise, Momma, the string looked like it needed to be tightened and I barely touched the knob, and when I touched it, it snapped” she pled through her tears. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to.” She was so afraid we would be upset with her and take her violin away thinking she had not been responsible with it.

I reassured her again that she was not in trouble and that this was something that could be dealt with, but she was heartbroken that this had happened. Inside I was proud that she had taken it out to practice, she had attempted to play her newly learned music notes in an effort to get better. That is all I want her to do is try.

Once she calmed a bit, I walked in to her room with her and asked her to show me what she had been taught in violin class this week. Although she is a beginner, she displayed so gracefully the proper technique for holding the bow in order to glide it correctly over the strings. As she stirred the bow across each string, a music note rang forth that was beautiful to my ears, even the sound that came out when she ran across the broken string. Despite the broken string she attempted to show me what she had learned anyway.

You see, for me as the parent, it wasn’t about the exact notes that she played and the amount of perfection with which she executed it, it was about her effort to play at all. She was attempting something that she had not yet mastered, and was so grieved when she thought she had messed it all up.

Isn’t that how we are? Our life is an instrument to play for the Father. We are all still new at some parts of it, sometimes we break strings, sometimes the notes we play aren’t exactly the right ones for the tune, but He delights in your passion in trying.

If only I became as broken as my daughter was that day when it comes to disappointing my Father. If only I took seriously the responsibility of this instrument He has given me. Regrettably, I don’t always do so well with that.

But – you know what I love about Him?

As I delighted in the fact that my daughter was practicing at all, He delights in my practice, He delights in the passion I have to bring it out of its case and attempt to play its music. I wasn’t upset at all about the broken string, accidents happen. We will break strings along the way, He knows that.

You know what else?

He won’t take our instrument away; we don’t have to fear that. Because of the love of Jesus, He has plenty of grace, mercy, and love in his hands to repair and restore our instruments to their perfect music playing condition so that we can try again.

I believe I’ll keep playing for Him.

How is your instrument today? Do you have a broken string or strings? Go to Him, tell Him. He knows anyway. He can restore your instrument to it's finest state and He will be glad to comfort you and teach you something new along the way.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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