I stopped in the Chapel on my walk to pray. This was one of those days that I really needed to sit and listen to God, so imagine my surprise when I opened the door to find someone banging on the piano. Sometimes a college student will find and use the Chapel’s piano, but on that day, I was so bummed to hear it…I needed the peace, after all. I needed to hear from God. Couldn’t this kid bang on some other piano?
I decided to try turning up my ipod and try praying anyway. And it was surprisingly simple…crank up the Matt Maher, close my eyes, and the piano was almost gone. Almost. I prayed and poured out my thoughts, worries, and concerns. I asked for help in various areas of my life and the lives of those I love which really need divine intervention.
But I still heard the piano.
I remembered telling the kids about another such day when I tried to pray at the Rosary Walk, near My Brother’s Keeper. On that day, there was a gardener riding a mower all around the area, and he pretty much was following me from mystery to mystery. It was extremely annoying, and as I told the kids about it, their answer surprised me. “Mom,” they said, “what if the gardener was a messenger from God? What if he was an angel? Mom, what if it was Jesus? No wonder He was following you around when you were praying!” I laughed as I remembered their faces and then I looked up. Maybe there was something here I was supposed to notice.
Within a few seconds, it occurred to me that what was actually happening with the piano was not banging, but tuning. What had sounded like chaos only a few minutes earlier now made sense to my ears. Like these areas in my own life that needed attention, the commotion actually had a purpose: to make things harmonious. But it didn’t sound like harmony at the time, and neither did my life. As I shut off the ipod and listened further, I began to imagine what it would look like for God to tune my life, to tune all of these areas that to me felt out of control. I made a few observations.
Tuning is violent. As the tuner bangs on the keys, he listens and adjusts the pins which control the strings within the instrument until the sound is perfect and clear.
Tuning is purposeful. Tuners have education, the right tools, and a perfect ear, which is why they do that job. They know what they’re aiming at, and they know what they’re doing.
Tuning takes time. I don’t know how long this gentleman had been working on this piano, but his work was methodical, determined, and slow. He wanted to get it right.
By the time I made these observations, the gentleman was almost done with this particular piano. I had the sweet thought that maybe some of the difficult things…those things on which I really needed a breakthrough…were almost done, too. Well, I guess we’ll see. But it gave me patience to know that we, like that piano, will see better days. We were made to make beautiful music, we break and need help, and we are really in good hands.